Polyphagous shot hole borer (Euwallacea sp., Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) has recently invaded southern California. The beetle, along with its associated fungi, Fusarium euwallaceae, Graphium sp., and Acremonium sp., causes branch dieback and tree mortality in a large variety of tree species including avocado (Persea americana Mill.) and box elder (Acer negundo L.). With the spread of the beetle through Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties in California, there is increasing concern that felled trees and pruned branches infested with polyphagous shot hole borer should receive sanitation treatment to reduce the potential spread of the beetle from the movement of untreated wood.We tested two sanitation methods to reduce beetle populations, chipping with a commercial chipper and solarization by covering logs with clear or black plastic in full sun. Both chipping and solarization decreased beetle emergence and boring activity compared to untreated control logs. Chipping was most effective for chip sizes <5 cm. Solarization was most effective using clear polyethylene sheeting during hot summer months, particularly August, when daily maximum temperatures were ≥35°C. Beetles persisted for 2 mo or more when solarization was applied during the spring or fall.
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Vol. 108 • No. 4