How to Kill Tree Borers

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Things You'll Need

  • Spray insecticide containing chlorpyrifos, lindane or endusulfan

  • Fumigant containing ethylene dichloride or paradichlorobenzene

  • Injectable insecticide containing dicrotophos, oxydemeton-methyl or acephate


As a preventative measure, avoid injuring the roots and trunks of trees. Such injuries serve as entry points for the borers. Using tree species that are adapted to your local growing area keeps trees healthy and less prone to diseases and pests. It is best to remove seriously infested trees as these cannot be saved.


Tree borers are also likely to infest the seasoned dry wood that is used for home firewood. If this occurs, do not attempt to use insecticides on firewood inside the house. Store all firewood outside until you are ready to use it. You may treat borers on firewood by covering the wood with a tarp in areas exposed to full sun.

Tree borers are insects that infest trees under bark and damage them extensively by boring and tunneling through the wood. Trees that are growing poorly or are already under stress from inadequate care and disease are more prone to infestation from the insects. Take preventative action against borers by keeping trees in good health and regularly inspecting to detect early signs of damage. In case an infestation has occurred, use any of a number of recommended insecticides to kill the pests.


Step 1

Use products containing chlorpyrifos, lindane or endusulfan to kill tree borers.

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Step 2

Spray the entire trunk and branches of the infested tree. Though the insecticides cannot reach the larvae that have already tunneled to the sapwood, they will kill all larvae and adults present on the bark surface.

Step 3

Apply fumigant products to repel the borer adults that can lay eggs on the tree. The fumigants will kill any larvae that they reach. Recommended fumigants include products containing ethylene dichloride and paradichlorobenzene.


Step 4

Inject chemicals like dicrotophos, oxydemeton-methyl or acephate directly into the cambial tissues of the tree where the insects commonly feed. This process is highly effective at getting rid of the pests. All chemicals are sold under different trade names.

Step 5

Repeat spray applications on infested trees after three to 10 weeks. When spraying, cover all areas of the trunk and branches.



Irum Sarfaraz

Irum Sarfaraz is a freelance writer with over 20 years of nonfiction writing experience in newspaper op-eds and magazine writing, book editing, translating and research writing. Sarfaraz is originally from Pakistan and has been published in both American and Pakistani newspapers and magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature, and diplomas in nonfiction writing.