Some insects cause damage you would never expect. It turns out that a small bark beetle called the camphor shoot borer is causing havoc because they have been boring through plastic lawn mower gas tanks.
That’s crazy! Don’t they realize gasoline will kill them? They don’t find out until it is too late, and they have already damaged the gas tank. Apparently, it is the alcohol in the gas that they are strongly attracted to. Since most gasoline these days contains alcohol, a lot of gas tanks could be damaged by this pest.
The camphor shoot borer is not native to this country. It was first reported in 2004 and is currently found from North Carolina to Texas, and is still spreading. These beetles are most active in the spring, so keeping plastic gas canisters and mowers in an enclosed shed might be helpful in the spring. Keeping the outside of fuel canisters free of spilled gas also may help.