Emerald Ash Borer


From the West Virginia Department of Agriculture

State and federal officials report that they have recently detected emerald ash borer (EAB) in Clay County, which joins a growing list where EAB has been detected, according to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA). The destructive insects – which have killed an estimated 25 million ash trees in North America – have been found in 11 West Virginia counties this summer alone.

The number of counties may rise as workers with WVDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) continue to collect the sticky purple prism traps that have been seen hanging in trees along many West Virginia roads.

West Virginia is currently under a federal EAB quarantine, which means that ash logs or products must be inspected and certified as EAB-free before they can be moved to any uninfested state.

“We continue to find EAB in more and more locations throughout the state,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass. “It is extremely difficult to combat invasive species, but one thing people can do to help is avoid moving firewood long distances, such as when they go camping.”

WVDA found EAB in Fayette County in 2007, in Morgan and Roane Counties in 2009, and in Raleigh, Calhoun and Nicholas Counties in 2010. There are now 17 counties positive for the insect. Counties where EAB has been found in 2011 include Brooke, Berkeley, Clay, Greenbrier, Gilmer, Hancock, Kanawha, Mingo, Summers, Webster and Wirt.

Plant Industries Division Director Sherrie Hutchinson said, “No one wanted to find more EAB in the state, but the survey definitely enforces the fact that this invasive beetle has spread through artificial movement because we are finding it in widely spread areas of the state, rather than in neighboring counties. Every time you move infested ash firewood or logs you help move the beetle. They are under the bark where you don’t see them, so please don’t move firewood.”

EAB attacks only ash trees. It is believed to have been introduced into the Detroit, Mich., area 15-20 years ago on wood packing material from Asia. Since then, the destructive insect has been found in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec.

Anyone with questions about EAB can contact the WVDA’s Plant Industries Division at 304-558-2212, or visit www.emeraldashborer.info

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