Emerald Ash Borer
What is an Emerald Ash Borer?
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) (Agrilus Planipennis), is an ash tree killing wood-borer beetle from Asia that was first identified in Ohio in 2003. The pest has since spread from the initial detection near Toledo to all 88 counties in the state. Because the EAB has established itself throughout all of Ohio, in July 2011 ODA lifted the quarantine regulations in place for Emerald Ash Borer within the state. Ohio is still inside the Federal quarantine boundary, and the movement of EAB regulated articles cannot exit the quarantine boundaries without Federal permits.
Emerald Ash Borer Background.
The EAB is a small but destructive exotic beetle from Asia. It was first discovered in the United States in July 2002 feeding on ash trees in southeastern Michigan, probably arriving in wooden packing material at a harbor near Detroit. Evidence suggests that the EAB has been established in Michigan for at least ten years. More than 3,000 square miles in southeastern Michigan are infested and more than 6 million ash trees are dead or dying from this pest.
Metallic green in color, EAB adults measure 1/2 inch in length and 1/8 wide. The average adult beetle can easily fit on a penny. Adult beetles lay eggs in the bark of any ash species (White, Green, Black, Blue), and after hatching, larvae feed in the cambium between the bark and wood. Larval feeding results in galleries that eventually girdle and kill branches and entire trees.
EAB was identified in Ohio in February 2003. Since then, it has moved progressively across the state, and on October 3, 2006 the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) confirmed the presence of EAB in Cuyahoga County. Subsequently, ODA placed the county under EAB quarantine prohibiting the movement of harvested ash wood products, including firewood, from quarantined counties into non-quarantined counties. The Ohio Department of Agriculture EAB web page has up to date information and distribution maps concerning EAB in Ohio. For a national perspective on EAB, click here for information and links to many other web sites concerning this destructive pest. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services have additional information about EAB and the quarantine.
The key factor contributing to the spread of EAB is the movement of infested firewood.
People unknowingly contribute to the spread of EAB when they move firewood. EAB larvae survive hidden under the bark of firewood. Play it safe: don't move any firewood and you won't move any beetles. Visually inspect your trees. Early detection is a key factor. If trees on your property display any sign or symptom of EAB infestation, contact your State agriculture agency (Ohio Department of Agriculture EAB web page).
Damage left behind from the Emerald Ash Borer.
Gaps in the canopy left behind from felled ash trees give way to extra sunlight inviting invasive species to invade.
An up-close view of the serpentine gallery left behind from a feeding Emerald Ash Borer larvae.