Kiowa Conservation District
303-621-2070 ext. 101
Helping People Help The Land in Elbert County Colorado
About Poplar Borer
Lives on cottonwood and other poplars. Larvae are legless and creamy-white with brown heads. Adults are elongate, robust, grayish beetles about 20 to 30 mm long with yellowish markings on the wings and body.
Adults emerge during the summer. They feed on the bark of young twigs and lay eggs in slits cut in the bark of the trunk and larger branches. Larvae tunnel inside the trunk and branches for 2 to 3 years.
Infested branches and trunks become swollen and scarred, and contain numerous holes marked by sawdust and sap. Wet areas around the holes eventually blacken and appear varnished. Large trees are often riddled with tunnels making them subject to wind breakage. Small trees may be girdled and killed.
Spray trunks and lower limbs of high value trees with chlorpyrifos when adult beetles begin to emerge in summer. Contact your local extension service for more information on proper treatment time (see our Links section).