Issue 5, May 22, 2009

Have You Seen The Purple Traps?

If you have been driving around Illinois, particularly in the southern half of the state, you have probably noticed the big purple boxes hanging in trees. The Illinois Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture and other cooperators are using these sticky traps to aid in the detection of the emerald ash borer.

Purple sticky trap hanging in tree.

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that was first discovered in Illinois in 2006 in Kane county. This metallic green beetle is responsible for killing millions of ash trees and threatens to kill millions more throughout North America. It has currently been found in 10 states (Adobe PDF); most recently in St. Paul, Minnesota in mid-May.

Where are the traps being placed?
Approximately 5,000 traps will be placed in Illinois ash trees in 2009. Traps will be concentrated in a 50 mile buffer zone (area in blue) outside of last years trapping location. An additional 2,000 traps will be placed in previously trapped areas as a partnership with municipalities (area in green) and 200 are being placed in high risk areas in southern Illinois (area in light red).

2009 Emerald Ash Borer trapping map for the state of Illinois, including quarantined area outlined in red.

How does the trap work?
The trap uses Manuka oil as an attractant to lure the beetle to it if EAB is already in the area. The surface of the trap is coated with a sticky material which causes the beetle to adhere to it.

How long will it be there?
Traps will be hung in May before the EAB flight season begins. The flight season of EAB is from May through August. The traps will be removed after flight season is complete. The traps will then be examined for the presence of EAB.

Will the traps bring EAB into the area?
No, the traps will not bring the beetle into an area that is not already infested. It will simply help officials determine if EAB is already present in your area.

From a recent Illinois Department of Agriculture press release, the department encourages citizens to watch for signs and symptoms of the emerald ash borer and asks that the purple traps be left along and not disturbed.

Visit the Illinois CAPS website for all the latest news on invasive pests in Illinois.--Kelly Estes

Kelly Estes

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