Emerald ash borer continues to spread across United States

May 2, 2024

The emerald ash borer is continuing to spread across the United States.

Recently, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) confirmed emerald ash borer (EAB) in Rock County for the first time. There are now 51 counties in the state, including Rock, with EAB.

EAB has spread to most states in the U.S. where ash trees grow, with particularly severe infestations in the Midwest and Northeast regions. The pest is also present in at least five provinces in Canada.

Emerald ash borer pupa

The pest attacks and kills ash trees by burrowing into their bark and disrupting the tree’s nutrient transport system. This can lead to the death of the tree within a few years of infestation. Ash trees are prevalent in many parts of the U.S., along with Canada, so the EAB has had significant ecological and economic impacts.

In 2002, the beetle was detected for the first time in North America in the vicinity of Detroit, Michigan, and later in Windsor, Ontario. Data from tree ring analysis indicated that the beetle had probably been present in those areas since the early 1990s. The invasive beetle, native to Asia, is believed to have arrived in wood packing materials. Since then, it has spread rapidly, primarily through the transportation of infested ash wood products.

Various management strategies have been employed to combat the spread of EAB and mitigate its impacts. These include insecticide treatments, quarantine measures to restrict the movement of ash wood products, biological control methods using natural enemies of the beetle, and efforts to develop resistant ash tree varieties.


Tiny wasps could help save ash trees
A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) project that introduced parasitoid wasps to battle the emerald ash borer is being touted as a cautious success, thanks to four wasp species.

Emerald ash borer focus of two studies
The emerald ash borer (EAB) has become the most devastating invasive forest insect in the United States, killing hundreds of millions of ash trees at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Related Posts