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Exotic ambrosia beetles are damaging pests in ornamental tree nurseries in North America. The species Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Motshulsky) and Xylosandrus germanus (Blandford) are especially problematic. Management of these pests relies on preventive treatments of insecticides. However, field tests of recommended materials on nursery trees have been limited because of unreliable attacks by ambrosia beetles on experimental trees. Ethanol-injection of trees was used to induce colonization by ambrosia beetles to evaluate insecticides and botanical formulations for preventing attacks by ambrosia beetles. Experiments were conducted in Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia. Experimental trees injected with ethanol had more attacks by ambrosia beetles than un-injected control trees in all but one experiment. Xylosandrus crassiusculus and X. germanus colonized trees injected with ethanol. In most experiments, attack rates declined 8 d after ethanol-injection. Ethanol-injection induced sufficient pressure from ambrosia beetles to evaluate the efficacy of insecticides for preventing attacks. Trunk sprays of permethrin suppressed cumulative total attacks by ambrosia beetles in most tests. Trunk sprays of the botanical formulations Armorex and Veggie Pharm suppressed cumulative total attacks in Ohio. Armorex, Armorex + Permethrin, and Veggie Pharm + Permethrin suppressed attacks in Tennessee. The bifenthrin product Onyx suppressed establishment of X. germanus in one Ohio experiment, and cumulative total ambrosia beetle attacks in Virginia. Substrate drenches and trunk sprays of neonicotinoids, or trunk sprays of anthranilic diamides or tolfenpyrad were not effective. Ethanol-injection is effective for inducing attacks and ensuring pressure by ambrosia beetles for testing insecticide efficacy on ornamental trees.

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