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Emerald Ash Borer: New Finds and Field Day

August 22, 2008

Emerald ash borer continues to be found in new locations in Illinois and elsewhere in the Midwest. We reported previously about the borer being found in southwestern Bloomington, Illinois, where adults were found on one of the purple traps used to survey for this pest. Intensive inspections of trees in the immediate area around the trap turned up no infestations. The trap was located in an area where wood is brought from other locations in the county, so inspectors started looking elsewhere in the county. They soon found a large infestation in Chenoa that had apparently been present for several years.

To help educate central Illinois professionals on emerald ash borer, the mayor and city council of Chenoa have invited public works directors, city park directors, tree-care companies, and arborists in central Illinois to come to Chenoa September 4 for a field day on emerald ash borer. The first session will be at 10 a.m., a second session at 1 p.m. The field day will be held at the main pavilion located in the main city park near Zubeck Field. There will be a peeling station to train everyone who attends on what to look for and how to examine ash limbs for evidence of emerald ash borer larvae. There will also be presentations on emerald ash borer identification, its effect on public and private entities, its history of spread in Illinois and North America, how Chenoa is planning to respond to this insect, other options for public-entity response, and methods of control. For more information, visit http://www.agr.state.il.us/eab/. Please RSVP your attendance and indicate which session you plan to attend to juliann.heminghous@illinois.gov.

Elsewhere in the Midwest, emerald ash borer has also been found infesting trees east of Newburg, Wisconsin, about 30 miles north of Milwaukee. This represents the first find of the borer in Wisconsin. It has also been found on a trap near Georgetown, Indiana, which is in southern Indiana about 15 miles west of Louisville, Kentucky. Although emerald ash borer has been found in 19 Indiana counties, these locations are primarily northeast of Indianapolis. This is the first find in southern Indiana.

It is likely that more finds will be made as the purple attractant traps are taken down and inspected for emerald ash borer. There were about 5,000 traps set in Illinois, and they are now being taken down. With this large number of traps, it will probably be a couple of months before all of them have been inspected and suspicious specimens identified.

Looking at a few of the emerald ash borer traps confirms that they are very effective at attracting Agrilis, the genus of metallic woodboring beetles that includes the emerald ash borer. The traps are also capturing bronze birch borer, twolined chestnut borer, honeylocust borer, and probably several other species in this genus that are all about the same size and shape as emerald ash borer. There are 57 species of Agrilis that occur in northeastern North America.

Author: Phil Nixon


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