Sanitation Options for Managing Oak Wood Infested With the Invasive Goldspotted Oak Borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) in Southern California

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Movement of invasive wood-boring insects in wood products presents a threat to forest health and a management challenge for public and private land managers. The goldspotted oak borer, Agrilus auroguttatus Schaeffer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), is a new pest in San Diego and Riverside Cos., CA, believed to have been introduced on firewood. This beetle has caused elevated levels of oak mortality since 2002. From 2009‐2011, we tested several sanitation methods, applicable to large and small land parcels, to reduce or prevent goldspotted oak borer emergence from infested oak wood. In most experiments, emergence of goldspotted oak borer adults from the positive controls demonstrated that the beetle could complete development in firewood-sized pieces of cut oak wood. In 2009, adult emergence from sun-exposed oak wood began and peaked 2- to 4-wks earlier at a low elevation site than at a high elevation site (late May to late June). However, there were no significant effects of elevation or host species on the emergence response of goldspotted oak borer by solarization treatment in this study. Solarization of infested wood with thick (6 mil) and thin (1 mil) plastic tarpaulins (tarps) did not significantly reduce emergence of adults despite recordings of greater mean and maximum daily temperatures in both tarped treatments and greater relative humidity in the thick-tarped treatment (all compared with nontarped controls). Grinding wood with a 3“-minus screen (≤7.6 cm) significantly reduced goldspotted oak borer emergence compared with control treatments, and this was the best method for reducing adult emergence among those tested. In a separate grinding study, no adults emerged when wood was ground to 9“-minus (22.9 cm), 2“-minus (5.1 cm), or 1“-minus (2.5 cm) screen sizes, but a low level of adult emergence from the positive controls limited any inferences from this experiment. Debarking cut wood pieces eliminated goldspotted oak borer emergence from the wood fraction, but adults emerged from the shaved bark and phloem.

Keywords: debarking; firewood; grinding; oak mortality; solarization

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2013

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