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Asian Ambrosia Beetle

The Asian ambrosia beetle can cause branch or entire plant death.

Toothpick-like frass

Tree Hosts and Symptoms

More than 124 hosts have been documented, including cherry, crapemyrtle, Drake elm, golden raintree, pecan, peach, magnolia and shumard oak. Attacks on living plants usually occur near ground level on saplings or at wound sites on larger trees. Fragile sawdust tubes protrude from the outside of the bark and resemble toothpicks.

Causes of Tree Damage 

The Asian ambrosia beetle is a small, dark reddish-brown insect, just under 1/2 inch long. This is an introduced species that is established in the Southeast, from Tennessee to Florida to western Texas. 

In the Southeast, adults are active any time of the year during warm weather. Initial flight occurs in early February through March. The white, legless, C-shaped grubs do not feed on the wood but are fed the "ambrosia" or fungus inside the plant. 


Remove and destroy heavily infested plants or plant parts. Applications of a residual insecticide may be needed up to four times per year at 6 to 8-week intervals. 

Contact your local arborist to keep your trees from being harmed before it's too late. 

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