See emerald ash borers in action; states still battling the bug

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The emerald ash borer threatens more than 7 billion ash trees in the United States. Photo: United States Department of Agriculture

Now is the best time to see the destructive, tree-eating emerald ash borer up close and personal.

The inch-long green metallic beetles are most numerous from late June to mid July, according to the Emerald Ash Borer Information Network. But don’t be fooled by lookalikes. Here’s a guide for proper identification of the nasty nuisance.

Officials have banned imported firewood, removed ash trees and even released tiny wasps to prevent them from overwhelming the region with little luck; the beetle has spread to all Great Lakes states over the past decade.

New insecticide treatments may hold promise, according to recent Ohio State University research.

An insecticide called Safari, when applied in certain parts of Ohio ash trees, reduced canopy loss caused by the beetles eating through channels that carry water and nutrients throughout the tree, according to a recent Columbus Dispatch article.

Researchers know more about the emerald ash borer since its 2002 arrival in Michigan, but even with the right combination of insecticides and applications, an infestation is still difficult to stop, according to the article.

Here’s how other states are battling the bug:

  • Minnesota officials turned to tiny wasps that target emerald ash borer eggs and larvae to prevent infestations; they just released 2,500 wasps in St. Paul.
  • The emerald ash borer quickly spread all eight Great Lakes states; now it’s causing more widespread infestations in Indiana and Illinois counties.
  • Toronto, Ontario officials held a series of public meetings last month to discuss their emerald ash borer problem; a study says the bug could wipe out roughly a million ash trees by 2017.

Editor’s note: The emerald ash borer earned Echo’s title of most destructive terrestrial invasive species during the second Great Lakes SmackDown!contest.

2 thoughts on “See emerald ash borers in action; states still battling the bug

  1. One thing i dont get about this EAB is that I hate that they want to bring three species of Chines wasps over. Its like it doesnt make sence when they do thatcause if these wasps come who says there arent goint to invaid native species.Its like this if they bring over they wasps they are going to cause more probles.

  2. The Emerald Ash Borer is here purely because of our desire for cheap Chinese goods–and for our lack of any sense of governmental responsibility to inspect or quarantine shipments. Years ago, even states had inspection points at their borders to thwart the transport of agricultural pests. Now, with anti-regulation and anti-government fervor, it’s a free-for-all when it comes to importing dangerous invasive species. Short-term economic gain by a few is favored over the long-term eonomic well-being of all. It’s the same mentality dealing with (or rather, not dealing with) ballast water in ships and Asian carp (which the U.S. government shouldn’t have allowed into the U.S. in the first place).

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