Ash borers likely to survive cold

emerald-ash-borerApparently the recent sub zero weather does not have much of a good side in killing bad insects.

The invader emerald ash borers now in Missouri and Kansas City are probably snug in bark beds, experts say.

“A few EAB larvae probably were victims of the cold, but most will likely survive,” said Rob Lawrence, forest entomologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

When temperatures drop below minus 10 degrees, the cold can kill some of the bugs, he said. But they are protected because they winter as larvae under ash tree bark and also produce a type of anti-freeze.

The ash borer that originated in Asia has killed about 100 million ash trees since it was found in the Detroit area about a decade ago.

In 2008, they were found in Missouri in Wayne County and are now it eight other counties, including Jackson and Platte.

Lawrence said it is too early to say if the severe cold will cut populations of other scourges like ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes.

“It’s a guessing game when trying to predict spring pest populations,” he said. “We just have to wait until spring to see what develops.”

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