Emerald ash borer trapping under way
Workers with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) ventured into the woods in April to hang thousands of traps across Minnesota in the hunt for emerald ash borer (EAB).
Approximately 6,500 purple detection traps will be placed throughout the state in the search for EAB. This is about 2,000 more traps than hung in 2011. The trap is a three-paneled purple prism placed in an ash tree. A lure inside the trap smells like a stressed ash tree to the beetle. Once EAB is drawn to the purple detection trap, a sticky layer on the outside of the trap holds the beetle until MDA’s trappers can return and check for the insect.
Preliminary estimates show 51 traps will be placed in Cook County.
The main purpose of the survey is to detect new areas of infestation that should be quarantined to prevent spread from the area. When an area becomes quarantined, it is illegal to move all hardwood firewood and ash wood out of the quarantine boundaries.
Traps will be placed in areas identified by a risk-based model developed by the United States Department of Agriculture. If required, EAB traps may be placed on private property. Citizens are asked not to disturb traps. “This trapping survey is one of the few options we have for detecting EAB,” said Geir Friisoe, MDA’s plant protection division director. “That’s why it is so important that the public leaves the traps as they are so we can collect accurate and useful results.”
The emerald ash borer is an insect that attacks and kills ash trees. The adults are small, iridescent green beetles that live outside of trees during the summer months. The larvae are grub or worm-like and live underneath the bark of ash trees. Trees are killed by the tunneling of the larvae under the tree's bark.