Do You Have Emerald Ash Borer Beetles? Advice for Choosing an Arborist

July 30, 2014

It has been recently confirmed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture that Emerald Ash Borer Beetles (borers) are now in Peoria and Tazewell County. This is a situation brimming with opportunity for schemers. Beware of people showing up at your home claiming that your trees have borers and they can treat for them. Home owners have paid for insect treatments using liquids of unknown value, for problems that are caused by drought stress -- not borers. Signs of a borer infestation include D-shaped holes in the bark of the trunk or branches, thinning and yellowing leaves, and basal shoots (new sprouts). If you are contacted by a tree service about borers in your trees, beware of tree services that . . .

  • Have no printed materials (letterhead, bid forms, etc.)
  • Arrive in an unmarked vehicle
  • Are vague about their formal credentials as an arborist.
  • Offer an unusually low price.
  • Only accept cash payments, and/or asks for payment up front.
  • Pressures you for an immediate decision.

BBB offers these tips on hiring a Tree Service:

  • Check out a tree service by calling your BBB at 309-688-5124 or visiting
  • Verify arborist certifications through the International Society of Arboriculture by calling 217.355.9411 or visiting
  • Verify where the company is located. A phone number is not enough.
  • Get at least 3 written estimates & discuss your needs/expectations.
  • Never pay the full amount until the work has been completed.