The Transylvania Times -

Invasive Insect Spotted In County For The First Time - Brevard NC

 

July 12, 2018



The emerald ash borer (EAB) has been found in Transylvania County for the first time, making it the 35th county within the state where this invasive insect has been detected.

The EAB was found in traps set for the beetle at South Broad Park in Brevard. Declining ash trees in the area signaled that EAB may already be there and prompted forest health specialists from the N.C. Forest Service to set the traps.

EAB is a metallic green beetle that bores into ash trees and feeds on tissues beneath the bark, ultimately killing the tree. The signs and symptoms of EAB aren’t always immediately noticeable because EAB damages the inside of the tree.

Adult borers lay eggs on the bark of ash trees. When the eggs hatch, the larvae bore into the bark and feed on the transportation tissues of the tree. This disrupts the movement of nutrients and water within the tree, causing the tree’s slow death, typically in three to five years.

The signs and symptoms of EAB infestation include thinning and dying crowns; increased woodpecker activity that causes the tree to look like it is losing patches of bark; small, 1/8-inch D-shaped exit holes where adult beetles emerged from the trees; galleries on the inside of the bark; cream-colored larvae; and epicormic sprouting, or sprouting from the main stem of the tree.

Host plants include all native ash trees and native white fringetree. The Chinese white fringetree, often planted for ornamental purposes, is believed to be resistant.

Adult EAB beetles are about a half-inch long and one-eighth of an inch wide.

If their wing covers are pried up, their bodies are a metallic purple-red color. In North Carolina, the adult EAB is typically active from late spring and early summer, likely April through June. EAB larvae may be found under the bark of the tree most of the year.

The spread of invasive insects in the state is often due to human activity through the transportation of infested wood products such as firewood.

It is strongly recommended that people burn local or treated firewood to reduce the spread of invasive pests.

The entire state of North Carolina is under a quarantine for EAB, a non-native invasive insect from Asia.

This prohibits the movement of ash plant parts, the insect itself, ash nursery stock and all hardwood firewood into non-quarantined areas such as central Tennessee, most of Alabama and all of Florida.

The N.C. Forest Health Branch monitors the spread of invasive pests. People who suspect there is an infested tree in an area near them should contact their county ranger.

The contact information can be found online at http://www.ncforestservice.gov under the links in the “contacts” heading.

For more information about EAB and a list of counties where it can be found, go to http://www.ncforestservice.gov. Follow the links under the “Forest Health” section. To view current federal EAB quarantines, visit the national EAB website, http://www.emeraldashborer.info.

 
 

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