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EAB adult on a penny.  Wikimedia Commons photo

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Emerald Ash Borer Alert
- by Bet Zimmerman

As if the threat of Asian Longhorned Beetle invasion wasn’t enough.  Now we have to worry about  Emerald Ash Borers.  This metallic green beetle has already taken out more than 70,000,000 ash trees in the upper Midwest. 

EAB Larva

Emerald Ash Borer larvae.  They were first found in the U.S.  in 2002 and are spreading fast.  Photo from www.emeraldashborer.info.

It has been found in Pennsylvania and New York.  “It’s steadily marching in the direction of Connecticut, and it’s just a matter of time before it gets here,” said Chris T. Maier of the CT Agricultural Experiment Station. 

Just because you don’t see anything on the wood doesn’t mean it isn’t infested.  The creamy white larvae create serpentine tunnels underneath the outer bark. The beetles are tiny – only about ½ inch long and 1/8 inch wide.  Five side by side would fit on a penny.

Outward signs of Emerald Ash Borer attack include canopy die back, usually starting at the top of a heavily infested tree.  Sprouts may grow from the roots and trunk, and remaining leaves tend to be larger than usual.  You may see increased woodpecker activity as they hunt for larvae. 

To prevent the spread of invasive insects like the Asian Longhorned beetle and Emerald Ash Borer, movement of firewood or cut logs from certain areas is restricted.  States like West Virginia are urging people to “burn it where you buy it” as a reminder not to move firewood from one state to another. Another solution is to burn pest-free firelogs manufactured from environmentally friendly pressed firewood.

See www.emeraldashborer.info to learn more about this devastating pest.  It has not been found in CT yet, but if you suspect you may have it in your ash trees, call 1.203.974.8440 or send digital photographs to CAES.StateEntomologist@ct.gov. (PS Doug thought this was a “boring” topic.)


References and More Information:


Originally published in the Villager newspapers on October 23, 2009


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