Pest Control Blog

What Do Longhorn Beetles Eat?

June 30th, 2017 by Mike MacDonald in Pest Control Services

We have been getting a lot of questions about longhorn beetles including what they eat and how to get rid of them. If you are seeing them in your home, today’s post is relevant to you since it is all about the longhorn beetle.

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Longhorn beetle facts

The Longhorn beetle actually gets its name from it’s antennas, which aren’t really horns, but are usually as long as their bodies or even longer. These bugs also typically have spotted backs and striped antennas.

These pests typically feed off of trees such as maple, birch, willow, elm, ash and other hardwood trees. They usually don’t infest your home unless they have been brought in from outside and this can happen in a variety of ways.

Longhorn beetle larva can live deep within the wood of trees that they feed on, and they are often brought inside of people’s homes through firewood. The larva can go unnoticed since they have been known to burrow deep inside of the trees they inhabit.

Fully grown Longhorn beetles also have the ability to fly so they could also end up in your home or travel from infected trees to ones around your home.

What kind of damage do Longhorn beetles cause?

There are a few signs that you may have a Longhorn beetle issue near your home. These beetles create individual holes in trees for each larva they produce and can end up doing significant damage to trees around your home.

When the larva feed, they continue to burrow deeper into the trunk and branches of trees causing further damage to the trees ability to absorb and transfer nutrients throughout the plant. You can sometimes see hundreds of tiny holes all over a tree as a sure sign of a Longhorn beetle infestation.

In addition to that, since much of the nutrient absorption and transfer elements have been damaged, you can also notice an off coloration to the leaves and apparent limpness to them as well. You may also see piles of sawdust left near the trunks of trees. Left unchecked, this can end up killing the trees and plants that are affected.

They also have been known to damage untreated lumber in and around people’s homes. This is another important reason to treat any wood that is outside of your home such as decks, outdoor furniture, or things like sheds, and other untreated wood products.

Also, be on the look out for a series of pencil sized holes on any untreated wood you may have around your home.

What you can do to remove the Longhorn beetles

Unfortunately, removal of Longhorn beetles is a losing battle. In most cases the best form of stopping the spread of this pest is to destroy the trees they inhabit by burning or chopping them down.

Since Longhorn beetle larva can hide out inside of firewood, be sure to only buy firewood locally from trusted sources and don’t transport firewood from potentially infected areas.

If you are going to be planting new trees in areas that either are infected or potentially could be, make sure that they are types of trees that the Longhorn beetle does not live in or feed from to help reduce the spread.

If you happen to suspect a Longhorn beetle infestation, report it immediately to the department of agriculture so the spread can be contained and eliminated as quickly as possible.  The use of pesticides has had some noticeable effect, so if you do have a Longhorn beetle issue be sure to reach out to a pest control service for help if you suspect any problems.

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