These destructive insects arrived from Asia in packing material made from ash wood. Although they were first detected in Detroit in June, 2002, EAB probably arrived there 10 to 12 years before they were found.
Traps for these invasive pests were hung up around Putnam County over the last month. Currently, there are no EABs in the county and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources wants to keep it that way.
"Indiana forests contain approximately 147 million trees with at least two million more in urban areas lining streets, in yards and in parks," say DNR experts. "The ash has been widely over planted as a street tree because it tolerates adverse conditions and is resistant to native pests and diseases."
The US Forest Service estimates that there are eight billion ash trees in American forests, and all of them are at risk if EAB is not controlled.
EAB has killed more than 40 million ash trees in Michigan and tens of millions more in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Missouri, Wisconsin and Virginia.
"On its own, the EAB moves slowly through the landscape, only about half of a mile per year," explained Jim Smith with Michigan State University.
"Unfortunately, people greatly accelerate the expansion when they move infested ash firewood and logs to new areas. EAB infestations outside of the Detroit area are the result of people moving ash firewood, nursery stock and logs," he added.
In an effort to monitor the spread of the EAB, purple panel traps have been placed in different areas around the county. These traps are be baited with manuka oil and glue in order to detect if any bugs are in the area.
The scent of manuka oil, harvested from native tea trees in New Zealand, will attract adult beetles.
"These traps won't attract new EAB infestations. They simply help find infestations that are already there," said Jodie Ellis, Purdue University entomologist.
This is the second year for the traps to be used. They are placed on a 1.5-mile grid system in approximately 7,200 survey points throughout most of Indiana, excluding the southwestern-most counties in the state.
This means traps are placed in trees every 1.5 miles in all directions, except in areas where ash trees are not present, such as in agricultural fields, or where infestations already have been confirmed.
"In previously quarantined counties where we have already confirmed infestations, we will only be placing a few traps for research purposes," said Phil Marshall, Indiana state entomologist. "We will be concentrating our efforts in areas that have not had EAB finds to determine whether or not there is, in fact, EAB activity."
Traps will be placed at least 12 to 15 feet off the ground in the branches of selected trees. Not all of the trees housing traps will be ash, however.
"Although EAB only infests ash trees, in some circumstances we may need to place traps in nearby trees that are not ash trees," Marshall said. "For example, if we have several ash trees that are too difficult to hang traps in, we will hang the trap in a nearby tree that may not be ash. That way, if the surrounding ash is infested, we will still find EAB adults that were drawn to the traps by the scent of the manuka oil."
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal Plant Health Inspection Service will be placing traps in trees on both public and private land.
The traps will most likely be removed in the early fall.
A number of webinars are available for any interested in more information about the EAB by visiting www.emeraldashborer.info. These can be viewed online. For information about them contact Jodie Ellis, Purdue University at 765-494-0822 or email email@example.com.
More information about emerald ash borer is available online at www.entm.purdue.edu/EAB or by calling (866) NO EXOTIC (663-9684).