Emerald ash borer, meet Polar Vortex

Emerald Ash Borer

Image: David Cappaert, Michigan State University

One of the stories bandied about amid the Polar Vortex of the past few days was the theory that this frigid cold might help knock back the emerald ash borer threat in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Ash borer larvae die off when the temperature is sustained below zero for several days. It would take extremely cold temperatures to kill off the entire population, and it seems the most likely outcome is that many, though not all larvae may have died.

The threat of the ash borer remains, however, as the problem is saturating the Midwest and nearby states did not get cold enough to kill off the larvae. Further, as one researcher points out, insects that manage to survive the winter might lead to more cold-resistant bugs in the future.

Perhaps you’d like to see my hit Tweet on this subject from a few days ago? Ah, those were some good minutes, you guys.


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