Emerald ash borer survey
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is indigenous to Asia and is known to occur in China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, the Russian Far East and Taiwan. Where it has been found in the United States, it has killed white ash (Fraxinus americana), green ash (F. pennsylvanica), and black ash (F. nigra), as well as several horticultural varieties of ash. The insect kills ash trees by destroying the tree’s water and nutrient conducting vessels. Symptoms can be found at Hot Topics: Emerald Ash Borer. EAB is so aggressive that ash trees may die within two to three years after they become infested with the beetle. Since its discovery near Detroit, Michigan in 2002, more than 15 million ash trees have been killed. This beetle has also been detected in West Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, and Ontario, Canada.
Ash trees are a major component of the landscape in Kentucky, so this pest is of particular concern both because of the prevalence of ash trees in urban and suburban areas and because lumber and wood products are among Kentucky’s top export products. Kentucky could lose billions of dollars in forest products, and quarantines imposed by state and federal agencies could severely affect plant and wood products industries.
Trap trees (described in Past Surveys) were commonly used in the past to trap for EAB. A lot of research has gone into developing a trap with an artificial lure for EAB which would be cheaper and a lot easier logistically. 2008 was the first year such a trap was used. The traps consist of 3 large (2 ft x 1 ft) purple panels folded to form a triangle. The outside is covered with a sticky substance and a lure hangs inside the trap to attract EAB.
We placed 3000 traps in 2008, 6000 in 2009, 6000 traps in 2010, nearly 7000 traps in 2011, and approximately 1700 traps in 2012. Results from these trapping surveys and maps can be found in Past Surveys. In 2013 approximately 950 traps will be set to determine how far this destructive beetle has spread throughout the state.