Aerial View of the City of Peterborough

EAB Life Cycle

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EAB belongs to a group of metallic, wood-boring beetles commonly found in Asia. The adults lay individual eggs distributed on the bark of the tree and the larvae bore through the bark and feed on the inner (vascular) tissues below, thereby disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. Larvae spend approximately one season beneath the bark creating tremendous amounts of damage to the tree.

Based on EAB infestations in other Ontario municipalities and scientific research it is known that EAB populations increase exponentially over a 5-10 year period. Tree mortality rate is slow in the first 2-3 years with an exponential increase in years 4–8; gradually levelling off as the ash population is destroyed.


Summer and Fall

  • Lives only 3-4 weeks
  • Mate from May-September
  • Females lay 60-90 eggs in tree crevices
  • Eggs hatch as Larvae, which tunnel in the tree
  • Larvae tunnels in winter months disrupt normal vascular function killing the tree over time
  • Larvae become pupae in the Spring
  • Pupae develop into sexually mature adults late spring/early summer

The diagram below shows the emerald ash borer life cycle.

 EAB Life Cycle 

Interactive EAB Life Cycle Video

Watch the educational video animation about EAB life cycle or look at the Deadly Cycle of the EAB info sheet.