Here at the USU Extension office we observe a few benefits of bone chilling temperatures.

  1. Our volume of diagnostic calls drops off.

    Not that we don’t love to talk to all of you but as with anything, it is nice to take a break from the hectic spring gardening season.yawning cat

  2. Cold temperatures can spell a death sentence for certain insect pests.

    Mention of fewer garden pests is enough to put a smile on any gardener’s face so this is a benefit I think we can all agree upon.  Certainly we cease to see common nuisance pests like fruit flies, but for this post I wanted to focus on a pest that attacks a species we usually do not grow in the edible garden but are still extremely concerned about, the emerald ash borer.

emerald ash borer in larval and adult stage

The emerald ash borer has devastated ash trees in many states east of Utah.  Although we have not seen a confirmed sighting of the emerald ash borer yet in Utah, we are asking all our citizens to be extremely vigilant and help serve as first detectors of this troublesome pest.  As with any living organism, the emerald ash borer has an Achilles heel – bone chilling temperatures.

map of distribution of Emerald Ash Borer

Check out this cool NPR piece about the impact of winter temperatures on emerald ash borer survival rates. The Upside of the Bitter Cold: It Kills Bugs That Kill Trees – January 10, 2014

If you are not aware of the emerald ash borer, especially if you have ash trees, please familiarize yourself with this pest and report any suspected sightings to your local USU Extension office 385-468-4826. 

ash leavesSee the USU Extension Emerald Ash Borer fact sheet.