April 06, 2010

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid: The Scourge of the Appalachians

Research Triangle Park, N.C. — Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) was introduced from Asia into the Pacific Northwest in 1924. After being introduced to the Northeastern United States during the 1950s, the insect has been damaging hemlock ever since and spreading at a rapid rate across the eastern United States and the Appalachians.

As of 2009, HWA has been found in Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

HWA is an aphid-like insect that first infects the trees in the spring and can be easily transferred by wind, birds, wildlife and people. The insect then attaches itself to the base of the needles and by autumn, white, fluffy “wool” can be seen as it protects itself from the elements. But it is in the following spring that infested trees are more obvious with the bright, white cotton masses made more visible under the needles. Over time, if left untreated, HWA causes the needles to turn yellow and fall from the tree. Mature trees can eventually die within four to eight years, depending on environmental stresses and overall health of the trees.

“Hemlock Woolly Adelgids are specifically attracted to two types of hemlock trees – eastern hemlocks and Carolina hemlocks found predominantly in the eastern United States. Most recently it has affected trees in the southern Appalachians at a disastrous rate,” said Lance Walheim, Bayer Advanced™ Garden Expert and author of Landscaping for Dummies. “By treating your hemlocks early and maintaining them properly, you can protect your investment for years to come.”

Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed concentrate (which contains Merit® insecticide) is an easy way for homeowners to protect eastern hemlocks and Carolina hemlocks from HWA. This dual-action formula kills insects and prevents new infestations for 12 months and provides a slow-release fertilizer to help your trees stay healthy. For best results, apply this product in the fall.

This systemic formula protects the tree from the inside out. To apply, measure the distance around the tree trunk to determine the amount of product to use. Pour it into a bucket or watering can, fill it with water and empty the bucket around the base of the tree. The roots of the tree absorb the Imidacloprid. It travels through the trunk and out to the limbs to protect every inch of the tree from damaging insects. Be sure to read and follow all label directions to ensure proper application.

About Bayer Advanced™

Bayer Advanced is one of the leading consumer lawn and garden brands in the United States. Driven by innovative thinking and category-leading research, Bayer Advanced provides innovative and effective solutions that help consumers grow beautiful lawns and gardens and protect their landscapes from pests, weeds and diseases.

Always read and follow label directions before using Bayer Advanced products. Visit BayerAdvanced.com for more information and to view how-to videos, or call 1-877-BAYERAG.

Bayer Advanced is a business group of Bayer CropScience LP, the U.S. affiliate of Bayer CropScience AG. Bayer Advanced, Bayer CropScience LP, and Bayer CropScience AG are part of the Bayer AG family, a FORTUNE Global 500 company.

About Bayer CropScience

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 6.5 billion (2009), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global work force of more than 18,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries. Visit www.bayercropscience.com for more details.