New tool in the fight against the Emerald Ash Borer

Written by Doug Oster on .

EAB 021513The Emerald Ash Borer could make ash trees extinct unless researchers can stop the pest.

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect which was discovered about 20 years ago in Michigan and have moved east since. It's from Asia and doesn't have natural predators here. The pests are destroying ash trees all along the eastern half or the United States. Western Pennsylvania has been hit hard by the pest. Scientists continue to test chemical and biological controls for the insect, but haven't been able to slow the spread of the EAB.

Penn State scientist studied how the species mates. The male flies over and ash tree looking for the female's green iridescent color and drops down on her.

So the scientist took dead females, put them in a trap and captured males. The female carcases were fragile though and have now designed decoys made of polymers.

The decoys can trap the males so that populations of the pest can be recognized quickly. The other bonus; any male caught, can't breed.

Here's the complete article.

There's fear that ash trees as a species will be wiped out over the next few decades.

Symptoms include upper crown die back, bark splits flaking or tissue damage resulting from woodpecker predation.

Here is some more information and photos of ash trees when attached by the borer.

If you suspect an ash tree on your property has been attacked by the EAB call The PA Department of Agriculture at 1-866-253-7189.

Hopefully scientists and other researchers will be able to come up with a plan to save our ash trees.


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