The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection announced that it is setting up 940 detection traps to locate Emerald Ash Borer Beetles in every county (with the exception of Windham and New London). Monitoring of the traps will be led by the University of Connecticut Extension Service in cooperation with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), DEP Forestry and State Parks personnel, the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Additionally, many landowners, wood product businesses and municipalities will also have traps placed on their property.
The Emerald Ash Borer Beetles are small, green insects belonging to the “family” of beetles known as the buprestids, or metallic wood boring beetles. The adult EAB has green, iridescent wing covers and is approximately one-half inch in length.
The EAB is an insect that is not native to North America. It was first found in 2002 in the vicinity of Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. It is presumed to have arrived several years earlier presumably on woody packaging materials. It is now known to be found in 12 states and was discovered in nearby Saugerties, New York (25 miles from the Connecticut border) in July 2010. EABs feed strictly on ash trees. The larvae feed just beneath the bark on the inside of the trees, while the adults feed on leaves.
“The EAB is an extremely destructive pest and is responsible for the death and decline of over 25 million ash trees in the U. S. since June 2002,” stated DEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty. “Considering Connecticut has more than 22 million ash trees, its presence here could have a devastating effect on the beauty of our forests, state and local parks and our neighborhoods as well as the state’s wood product industries.”
Nicknamed “Barney traps” due to their large size (about 3-foot by 1- foot) and purple color, the traps will be placed in targeted locations similar to where EAB was initially seen in other states such as private and public campgrounds, DOT rest stops, nurseries, and wood product locations. The traps use oil as an attractant to lure the beetles to it. However, birds and other wildlife will not become entangled in the traps. They are also non-toxic to humans.
In the meantime, DEP and CAES urge citizens not to transport firewood. EAB spreads quickly on its own and can be inadvertently transported in untreated firewood and other forest products. Instead, buy firewood locally at or near the campground, burn all firewood at your campsite before you leave, and never bring firewood home. For those who use firewood to heat their homes, your firewood should be from only a few miles away or at least in the same county.
Residents are also being asked to report possible EAB infestations to CAES or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (APHIS-PPQ). Early detection, although difficult, is the best defense against further infestation. Residents suspecting they have seen EAB should report their findings to CAES at (203) 974-8474 or CAES.StateEntomologist@ct.gov (digital photos of suspect insects and damage on the trees are very helpful). Residents can also report sightings to APHIS-PPQ via their website at www.beetledetectives.com.
More information on the 2011 Emerald Ash Borer Monitoring Program is available at the following website: The 2011 CT Emerald Ash Borer Trapping Program