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Invasive Species Spotlight: Shot Hole Borer


There are a wide variety of native species on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks that are crucial to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. However, invasive plants, animals and insects compete with these native species for vital resources, making them one of the most critical threats to native habitats found in Orange County.
Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Invasive Species Control team works collaboratively with volunteers and regional partners to monitor and control invasive species from degrading natural habitats. One invasive species that poses a threat to the Landmarks is the Shot Hole Borer.

​A type of beetle, the Shot Hole Borer is a small pest that causes significant damage by creating small holes in trees. As the beetle tunnels its way through the tree it carries a type of fungi that acts as a food source for the beetle. The fungi, in addition to the tunnels created by the Shot Hole Borer, disrupt the flow of nutrients in the tree, which can cause the tree to become degraded and die.
Unlike other invasive species, the Shot Hole Borer has been known to attack a large variety of tree species including palms, cottonwoods, maples, oaks, sycamores and more. These pests prefer trees that are well irrigated in cities, suburbs, river valleys, and riparian habitats.
By engaging volunteers and the public in efforts to combat invasive species like the Shot Hole Borer, IRC is better able to protect and enhance the health of these native habitats for years to come. For more information about invasive species control on the Landmarks, visit or follow the Landmarks on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.