Emerald Ash Borers: Identification, Habitat, Behavior, and Control

Emerald Ash Borers (EAB) are highly destructive insects that significantly threaten ash trees (Fraxinus species) across North America and several other countries. Native to Asia, these beetles were accidentally introduced to North America, likely through infested wood packaging. The following information will help you identify Emerald Ash Borers, understand their impact, and explore effective extermination techniques.

Emerald Ash Borers

Identification of Emerald Ash Borers Beetles

Emerald Ash Borers are small, metallic green beetles measuring approximately 8.5-14 millimeters. They have elongated bodies with a narrow shape and a metallic emerald-green coloration. The adults’ wing covers (elytra) feature a unique metallic coppery-purple hue. 

Other key identifying features include:

  1. Distinct D-shaped Exit Holes: Look for small, characteristic “D-shaped” exit holes (approximately 3-4 mm in diameter) on the bark of infested ash trees. Emerging adult beetles leave behind these exit holes.
  2. Serpentine Galleries: Emerald Ash Borer larvae create winding or serpentine galleries beneath the bark, disrupting the tree’s water and nutrient transport system. Look for these distinctive galleries when inspecting infested ash trees.
  3. S-shaped Larval Channels: Emerald Ash Borer larvae leave S-shaped channels underneath the bark, easily visible during infestations. These channels can be seen by peeling back the bark and examining the exposed wood.

Latin Name

The scientific name for Emerald Ash Borers is Agrilus planipennis.

Extermination Techniques for Emerald Ash Borers Beetles

  1. Insecticide Treatment: Systemic insecticides containing the active ingredient imidacloprid or emamectin benzoate can effectively manage Emerald Ash Borers. These insecticides are applied to the soil around the tree’s base or injected directly into the trunk. Consult a professional arborist or licensed pesticide applicator for proper application techniques.
  2. Tree Removal and Disposal: Infested trees beyond saving should be promptly removed and properly disposed of to prevent further spread. Chipping the wood and heating it to a high temperature can kill the larvae and reduce the risk of spreading the pests.
  3. Biological Control: Predatory wasps that parasitize Emerald Ash Borers have been introduced as a biocontrol measure in certain areas. These wasps can help reduce EAB populations, but their effectiveness varies depending on the location and environmental conditions.


Early detection and prompt action are crucial in managing Emerald Ash Borers infestations. Contact our professional extermination service to save your ash trees from these destructive pests and ensure the health and beauty of your landscape.