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Taking a Multi-Prong Approach to Control EAB Infestations

May 25, 2020
The emerald ash borer, an invasive insect, has threatened and destroyed ash trees across North America.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is among the most invasive insect threats in North America, according to Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE). Invasive species are those not native to the local ecosystem that cause harm.

The beetle, native to Asia, has destroyed tens of millions of ash trees in 35 states. The cost to protect and remove 17 million ash trees damaged by EAB in 25 states from 2009-2019 was $10.7 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

RISE, a national trade association of specialty pesticide manufacturers, formulators, distributors and others, says a multi-step approach can be taken to control EAB by monitoring for infestations, consulting with experts and treating with pest control products.

Watching for early signs of EAB damage can help save an ash tree before it dies. Visual evidence of an infestation includes:

  • Cracks near the lowest branch
  • Tips of branches that begin to die
  • Leaf canopy that is not as full and becomes more sparse
  • Small, 1/8-in. D-shaped exit holes in the bark from adult beetles

A balanced, multi-step approach to controlling invasive insects like EAB will help keep trees healthy, according to RISE. 

For more information and resources, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site

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