The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a metallic green beetle that bores into ash treesfeeding on tissues beneath the bark, ultimately killing the tree. The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, is a very destructive insect pest of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.), the only known hosts of this borer in North America. This exotic borer is a native of Asia with its natural range including China, Japan, Mongolia, Korea, the Russian Far East and Taiwan.
EABs generally have a one-year life cycle although that can be extended to two years in a vigorously growing host. After feeding on leaves, adults mate and females lay eggs on the bark or into small cracks. Eggs hatch in 7 to 10 days. The whitish larvae, called flatheaded borers, tunnel under the bark creating a winding, S-shaped galleries in the phloem and outer sapwood. These tunnels girdle the trunk and branches, interrupting the flow of water and nutrients. The larvae feed until fall and then overwinter as prepupal larvae.
EAB populations can quickly rise to damaging levels. After initial infestation, all ash trees are expected to die in an area within 10 years without control measures. Every North American ash species shows susceptibility to EAB as North American species planted in China also shows high mortality due to EAB infestation.
Host species include green ash, white ash, black ash, blue ash, and pumpkin ash. Tens of millions of ash trees have been lost to this pest, which usually kills ash trees within 3-4 years of infestation.
Green ash and the black ash trees are preferred by EAB. White ash is also killed rapidly, but usually only after all green and black ash trees are eliminated. Blue ash displays some resistance to the emerald ash borer by forming callus tissue around EAB galleries but is eventually killed. Many of the specialized predators and parasitoids that suppressed EAB populations in Asia are not present in North America. Predators and parasitoids native to North America do not sufficiently suppress EAB, so populations continue to grow. EAB populations can spread 20 km (12 mi) a year. However, it primarily spreads to longer distances by transport of firewood and other wood products that contain ash bark, which allows EAB to reach new areas and create satellite populations outside of the main infestation.
EAB threatens the entire North American Fraxinus genus. It has killed at least tens of millions of ash trees so far and threatens to kill most of the 8.7 billion ash trees throughout North America. Emerald ash borer kills young trees several years before reaching their seeding age of 10 years. The loss of ash from an ecosystem can result in increased numbers of invasive plants, changes in soil nutrients, and effects on species that feed on ash.
Ash wood is greatly valued for its strength and elasticity and is often used for baseball bats, bows, tool handles, and other products that require durability, strength, and resilience. Green ash is planted widely as a landscape tree in urban areas and is a valuable native component of wetland areas. Ash foliage and seeds are fed upon by numerous animals as well as butterfly and moth caterpillars. And these valuable ash trees have a huge threat from EAB.
Damage and efforts to control the spread of EAB have affected businesses that sell ash trees or wood products, property owners, and local or state governments. Quarantines can limit the transport of ash trees and products, but economic impacts are especially high for urban and residential areas due to treatment or removal costs and decreased land value from dying trees. Costs for managing these trees can fall upon homeowners or local municipalities. For municipalities, removing large numbers of dead or infested trees at once is costly.
Let us look below news articles that show EABs are threatening our trees:
- Emerald ash borer found in Longmont
Jacy Marmaduke, Coloradoan, June 9, 2016, US
The news of a relatively nearby infestation is significant for Fort Collins because nearly one in five of 40,000 city-owned trees are ash. The beetle, which is native to Asia, has killed more than 50 million ash trees in the United States since appearing in the Detroit area in 2002. It’s predicted to kill 9 billion ash trees by 2019.
- Emerald Ash Borer invades metro neighborhoods, causes millions in damages
By Nicole Diantonio, June 6, 2016, US
SHAWNEE, Kan. — A beetle infestation in the metro area is causing millions of dollars in damages and thousands of Ash trees are being cut down because of the Emerald Ash Borer. Experts are now saying the problem has spread a lot faster than anticipated to every major county and city in the metro. Now, there are many Ash trees in the neighborhood near McCory Street in Shawnee that is either dead or dying.
With nearly 4 million Ash Trees in the metro area, the infestation is costing the community millions of dollars in damages. In February, Lawrence, Kan., received nearly $240,000 to fight the beetles during the next decade.
Below is figure that shows distribution of EAB throughout North America:
Insecticides with active ingredients such as imidacloprid, emamectin benzoate, and dinotefuran are currently used. These insecticides are toxic in nature. They kill target as well as the non- target species. They are harmful to human health.
C Tech Corporation can offer a solution to overcome the damage caused by EAB to our trees. Termirepel™ is an ideal solution for prevention from damages inflicted by EAB. Termirepel™ is a nontoxic and nonhazardous insect aversive. Although it is non-hazardous anti termite aversive, it is effective against insects like EAB, grasshopper, worms etc. It is cost effective and cost efficient, inert, stable up to 1400 deg Celsius temperature, long lasting etc.
Termirepel™ is manufactured with a unique set of complex compounds. It is available in the form of polymer masterbatches which can be incorporated in plastic tree guards, fencing of trees, etc.