Emerald ash borer is on the move

Adult emerald ash borer beetle on bark with D-shaped exit hole below. (Photo by Debra Levey Larson)

By Debra Levey Larson
Media/Communications Specialist, University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

URBANA, Ill. — Infestations of the emerald ash borer are now common in northeastern Illinois and have been found as far south in Illinois as Marion County.

With a recent infestation discovered in Macon County, University of Illinois entomologist Jim Appleby reminds people that it is unlawful to transport firewood, ash logs and trees from quarantined areas because emerald ash borers might be in the wood.

The latest Illinois emerald ash borer quarantine map on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website covers nearly 40 percent of the state,” Appleby said. “Adult beetles will emerge from infested ash trees and logs during the months of May, June and July, so it is very important not to transport firewood from place to place to prevent the spread. Campers should only purchase firewood produced near their campsite.

I’ve already received many phone calls from homeowners requesting how they can tell whether their ash tree is infested,” he added.

Appleby created a four-page, full-color leaflet containing photographs to help identify ash trees and the ash borer. It includes photos of the life stages of the borer, infested tree symptoms, and photos of other insects that are sometimes confused with the emerald ash borer.

A printable order form for “How to Diagnose, Detect, and Search for Infestations of the Emerald Ash Borer,” which costs $2, is available at nres.illinois.edu/Appleby_Emerald_Ash_Borer or by contacting Beth Leamon, (217-333-2770, eleamon@illinois.edu). A discount is offered for orders of more than 100 copies.

The leaflet can also be downloaded as a pdf at http://nres.illinois.edu/Emerald_Ash_Borer.

Appleby said if an ash tree is located within 15 miles of a confirmed infestation, homeowners should consider treating the tree. Treatments with insecticides containing imidacloprid have proven to be effective in killing the borer. A brand currently available is Bayer Advanced Garden Tree and Shrub Insect Control.

The chemical has to get to the tree roots to be effective, so it is very important after treatment that at least an inch of water be applied to the treated area,” Appleby said. “If there is mulch around the tree, remove the mulch, apply the treatment, replace the mulch and then apply water to that area. Other insecticide treatments can be professionally applied by contacting a certified arborist.”

From the June 6-12, 2012, issue

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