What Affect Does The Cold Weather Have On The Emerald Ash Borer? Superior’s Ash Tree Population Might See Reprieve
The deep-freeze we've been stuck in the last week or two might have an unintended benefit; Sub-zero temperatures are fatal to the Emerald Ash Borer - the pest that has invaded our area, killing Ash Trees along the way.
Mark Abrahamson, an entomologist with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture shares that as the temperature dips below zero the fatality rate of the Emerald Ash Borer increases.
His research found that 5 percent of larvae will die at 0 degrees, 34 percent at 10 below, 79 percent at 20 below and 98 percent at minus 30.
Apparently, just hitting the temperature mark does the trick.
"It's almost instantaneous. So once it gets to those critical temperatures, that's enough to kill them. What we don't know is what prolonged exposure to slightly warmer temperatures will do. So for example, we've now had several days where we've been at minus 10 or colder. And we just don't know at this point what that does to emerald ash borers," Venette said.
Another element that researchers are looking into the what effect the natural insulation that tree bark provides has on this phenomenon. In other words, if the temperature outside is -20, it's probably somewhat warmer inside the tree, where the Emerald Ash Borer resides.
Whatever the end result, the news is at least positive for residents in Superior and Douglas County, where crews have already started removing Ash Trees as an offensive move in the fight against the Emerald Ash Borer.