Efficacy of soil-applied neonicotinoid insecticides for long-term protection against emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae).
Protection of green ash trees (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marshall) from the emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, by soil applications of neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, clothianidin, and dinotefuran) was tested at five locations between 2005 and 2013. Application rate and spring versus fall application dates were evaluated in tests with neighborhood street trees and in one plantation of 65 ash trees. Insecticide treatments of ash trees at all five sites were initiated as the leading edge of the EAB invasion began to kill the first ash trees at each location. Trees were treated and evaluated at each site for 4 to 7 yr. Spring applications of imidacloprid were more efficacious than fall applications. Application rates of 0.8 g a.i./cm dbh or greater per year gave a higher level of protection and were more consistent than rates of 0.56 g a.i./cm dbh per year or less. The number of years between the first observation of canopy loss due to EAB and death of most of the control trees varied from three to seven years among test sites, depending on how many non-treated ash trees were nearby.