Flat-head bark borers can kill major limbs or even the whole tree.
Since they carve out broad areas under the bark, there is no narrow hole
where a wire will suffice to kill them.
The classic treatment is a preventive spraying of lindane just after the
flower petals fall. This is supposed to be sprayed on all mature
branches, the trunk, and the soil within about 6 inches of the trunk.
However, lindane is an organochlorine chemical; and its use for
agriculture and home gardens is now prohibited in the U.S. and a number
of other nations.
This coming spring, I plan to use an imidacloprid drench on my peach
tree. This systemic is definitely NOT approved for use on edibles;
however, the research that I have seen says that it is harmless to birds
and mammals, including humans. It is very harmful to honeybees, which
is why I will wait until after the peach flowers lose their petals. One
treatment should last 12 months, but I expect the effects on bees will
be minimal when the peach flowers again in a year.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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