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05-17-13 *CDA News* Survey to Begin for Destructive Insect: Emerald Ash Borer…

Posted by Brian Allmer on May 18, 2013

CDA LogoEmerald Ash BorerLAKEWOOD, Colo. – Staff with the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) program are preparing to put out large purple survey tools or traps for the  detection of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).  The project is in coordination with the US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA-APHIS-PPQ), and City Foresters from 27 communities on the Front Range

This is the fifth year of the survey  program in Colorado; staff will be placing traps in high risk areas around the state starting in late May and monitoring them until they are taken down in September.

The emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is a highly destructive invasive insect that has killed over 50 million ash trees since its initial discovery in Michigan in 2002. In the last ten years the small green metallic colored pest, originally from Asia, has spread from Michigan to 19 states.

“While the pest has not reached Colorado, it was found last summer in Kansas City, KS, and has been detected as far east as New Hampshire.  This year’s effort to survey for Emerald Ash Borer is targeted for the highest risk sites in our state,” said John Kaltenbach, CDA’s cooperative agricultural pest survey coordinator.

It is possible that EAB could infest an Ash tree for 3 or 4 years before visible signs of decline of the tree. Trapping for insects is one way to detect beetles but you can also be on the lookout for the following signs of an EAB infestation in your ash tree:

  • Sparse leaves or branches in the upper part of the tree
  • D-shaped exit holes about 1/8 inch wide.
  • New sprouts on the lower trunk or lower branches
  • Vertical splits in the bark
  • Winding S-shaped tunnels under the bark
  • Increased woodpecker activity

National Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week is May 19-25, 2013.  The purpose of the week is to highlight the vital role that the public can play in the detection and reporting of exotic pest as well as in the effort to keep exotic pests out of Colorado.  Of particular importance is the role that the movement of firewood plays in the spread of pests.

“Moving firewood across the state can contribute to tree mortality,” said Kaltenbach.  “Insects and diseases can be transported with the wood and can hurt or even kill Colorado’s forests.”

One easy tip is to Buy It Where You Burn It.  Campers are urged to buy their firewood at their destination, thus preventing the spread of any insects or diseases that can be found in or on the wood.

The CDA’s CAPS program is an early detection program to find exotic insects and diseases that could cause significant economic damage to our agriculture and natural resources.  Targeted surveys, trapping or sampling, are conducted annually to detect pests that are likely to be introduced to Colorado via commerce, human travel or natural spread.

The CAPS program is funded and directed by the USDA-APHIS-PPQ and combines the efforts of the CDA, Colorado State University, Colorado State Forest Service, other state agencies, industries and professional organizations.

For more on the EAB and other exotic pest threats, visit the USDA site http://www.hungrypests.com.  A fact sheet on the EAB survey is also available at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/plant_health/2013/faq_eab_survey.pdf.

If you think you have EAB in your ash trees, or if you have any questions or concerns, or would like additional information, please contact John Kaltenbach, CAPS Coordinator, John.Kaltenbach@state.co.us or call 303-239-4131.

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