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Adult ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) bore into ornamental nursery trees resulting in trunk vascular tissue damage, which can potentially kill trees. Ambrosia beetle exposure to surface-applied insecticides is minimal after internal trunk galleries are formed, so effective management requires insecticide treatments to be applied near the time of infestation or to have residual activity on the bark. Tree trunk sections (bolts) were used to determine the effect of field aging or irrigation (i.e., simulated rainfall weathering) on permethrin residual activity against ambrosia beetles. In all experiments, 30-cm-long bolts from Liriodendron tulipifera L. (Magnoliales: Magnoliaceae) were hollowed and filled with 70% ethanol at field deployment to induce ambrosia beetle attacks over a 2-wk period. To evaluate insecticide residual activity, permethrin was sprayed onto tree bolts at 0, 8, 17, or 24 d before ethanol addition, and then bolts were deployed along a wooded border in fall 2017 and spring 2018. Tree bolts with permethrin residues ≤17 d old had significantly fewer ambrosia beetle attacks than bolts with 24-d-old residues or the non-permethrin-treated control bolts. To evaluate simulated rainfall weathering, permethrin was applied to tree bolts 8 or 22 d before ethanol (spring 2018) or 10 or 24 d before ethanol (fall 2018) with half of the bolts receiving regular irrigation events. Irrigation had no significant effect on permethrin residual activity against ambrosia beetles during either test. This study determined ambrosia beetle control was affected by permethrin residue age more than simulated rainfall weathering, and a reapplication interval of ≤17 d maximized beetle control.