Elm Beetles

What are elm beetles?

Elm beetles are indigenous to Colorado. You’ve almost certainly seen one before and if you’ve seen a single one, you’ve seen hundreds. Every adult elm beetle is 6 to 8 millimeters in length and they come in a variety of yellow to green shades. Elm beetles have a darker spot on their heads, between their two eyes, which is sometimes mistaken for a third eye. Elm beetles are herbivores and eat nothing but leaves and shrubbery, from larva to full grown beetle. Unfortunately, in the western hemisphere, there are no real natural enemies for the elm beetle, which is why their population can become a nuisance to humans.

an elm beetle on a plant outside a home in rifle colorado

Are elm beetles dangerous?

Elm beetles are not especially dangerous. Throughout most of the year, the largest concern you should have is for the health of the trees around your property. Elm trees, in particular, can become skeletonized by invading beetles, leading to weak spots in the tree's infrastructure. Heavy gusts of wind can cause skeletonized trees to lose branches or topple completely. In winter months, elm beetles try to seek warmth wherever they can. This can include your home. Be sure to keep a lookout for these nuisance beetles. Heavy infestations resulting in an abundance of fecal matter and dead or decaying beetles may pose a health concern to both humans and pets.

Why do I have an elm beetle problem?

The number one cause for people in Colorado suffering from elm beetle infestations is elm trees. They are beautiful and you probably enjoy having them on your property, but they are the reason you’re suffering from an infestation. Elm beetles' name derived from the way they flock to these trees.

Where will I find elm beetles?

You may see elm beetles flying around your property. Pets can unknowingly carry elm beetles that are hitching a ride on their fur, but for the most part, these beetles will be located on your trees and bushes. If you’re struggling with elm beetles in your home, it’s probably because colder months are upon you. Winter months drive these beetles indoors in an effort to survive. Keep a watchful eye over any plants you have indoors. Indoor plants are an anchor point for these beetles, providing sustenance and protection.

How do I get rid of elm beetles?

You don’t - but we do! RAM Wildlife & Pest Management has been helping people alleviate their elm beetle problems since 2006. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year! If you’ve found that you have an elm beetle problem on your Aspen, Vail or Roaring Fork Valley property, contact us and we'll put together a comprehensive action plan to end your beetle problem and guide you in customized pest prevention methods for your property!

How can I prevent elm beetles in the future?

Unfortunately, the most surefire way to prevent an elm beetle infestation is to remove all elm trees from your property. Obviously, this is not an ideal solution. There are a few other preventative measures everyone can take:

  • Seal cracks, crevices, and unused windows, and cap your chimney. You want it to be a real chore for these beetles to get into your home for the winter.

  • As published by Colorado State University, there are a number of chemical solutions that can be utilized at the base of trees, on shrubs, and in the soil.

  • Look for and neutralize elm beetle larvae that settle at the base of elm trees before turning into beetles.

 

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