DEEP: State Agencies Stepping Up Efforts to Detect Invasive Emerald Ash Borer Beetles

May 16, 2012
 
State Agencies Stepping Up Efforts to Detect Invasive Emerald Ash Borer Beetles – Detection Traps to be Deployed Statewide in 2012
 
Reminding Residents to Not Move Firewood
 
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) along with The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) and the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System today announced 590 detection traps will soon be set out across the state to monitor for the presence of the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) in Connecticut.  Because of the recent EAB findings along the western edge of Dutchess County New York – about 25 miles from the Connecticut border this year’s detection trap effort will be expanded to all counties including Windham and New London.
 
Monitoring of the traps will be led by the University of Connecticut Extension System in cooperation with CAES, DEEP Forestry and State Parks personnel, the state Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Additionally, many landowners, wood product businesses and municipalities have agreed to host a detection trap again this summer on their property.

Connecticut residents are reminded that the greatest geographic dispersal of EAB has been documented through the movement of firewood.  DEEP urges summer campers and vacationers to leave their firewood at home, buy firewood locally, and do not bring firewood back to Connecticut from out-of-state travels.  Not moving firewood and early detection of EAB are of paramount importance in our efforts to prevent or slow the further spread of this destructive insect.

“The continued early detection effort builds upon last year’s cooperative monitoring which fortunately found no EAB in Connecticut, said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty.  “Continued public vigilance and strict adherence to the policy of not moving firewood are absolutely necessary since EAB is slowly expanding eastward.  Considering Connecticut has more than 22 million ash trees, its presence here could have a devastating effect on the beauty of our forests, state and local parks and neighborhoods, as well as the state’s wood product industries.”

CAES Director Louis A. Magnarelli noted that “the early Dutchess County finding by New York State foresters and the U.S. Forest Service sheds some hope that if EAB is found early its spread can indeed be slowed allowing municipalities and landowners time to prepare by considering options for both roadside and interior forest management.”

Facts about the Monitoring Traps
  • The traps are nicknamed “Barney traps” due to their large size (about 3-foot by 1- foot) and purple color. 
  • The traps will be placed in targeted locations similar to where EAB was initially detected in other states such as private and public campgrounds, DOT rest stops, nurseries, and wood product businesses. 
  • The traps use a chemical attractant to lure the beetles to it.
  • The surface of the trap is coated with a sticky material which causes the EAB to adhere to it. 
  • Traps cannot bring EAB into an area that is not already infested.
  • Birds and other wildlife will not become entangled in the traps.
  • The detection traps are sticky, but non-toxic to humans.
Background on EAB

The EAB is a small, green beetle that belongs to a large family of beetles known as the buprestids or metallic wood boring beetles.  The description is apt, as many of the buprestids appear as if their wing covers are made of polished metal.  The adult EAB has green, iridescent wing covers and is approximately one-half inch in length.

The EAB is an insect that is not native to North America.  It was first found in 2002 in the vicinity of Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario.  It is presumed to have arrived several years earlier presumably on woody packaging materials.  It is now known to be found in 12 states and was discovered in nearby Rhinebeck, New York (25 miles from the Connecticut border) in March 2012.  EABs feed strictly on ash trees.  The larvae feed just beneath the bark on the inside of the trees, while the adults feed on leaves.

Ways to Prevent the Spread of EAB
  • DEEP and CAES urge citizens not to transport firewood. EAB spreads quickly on its own, but can be inadvertently spread and transported greater distances in untreated firewood and other forest products.
  • Buy firewood locally at or near the campground, burn all firewood at your campsite before you leave, and never bring firewood home. 
  • For those who use firewood to heat their homes, your firewood should be from only a few miles away or at least in the same county.
DEEP is asking Connecticut residents to report possible EAB infestations to CAES or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (APHIS-PPQ).  Early detection, although difficult, is the best defense against further infestation.  Residents suspecting they have seen EAB should report their findings to CAES at (203) 974-8474 or CAES.StateEntomologist@ct.gov (digital photos of suspect insects and damage on the trees are very helpful).  Residents can also report sightings to APHIS-PPQ via their website at www.beetledetectives.com.  A new forest pest educational video may also be viewed at CAES: Videos.