Emerald ash borers (EAB) are originally from eastern Russia, northern China, Japan, and Korea. The original infestations were found in 2002 near Detroit, Michigan, and traveled to Maryland and northern Virginia from Michigan in some infested nursery trees. Their populations are increasing rapidly because they have no effective predators here. They have already killed tens of millions of trees in North America, and show no signs of stopping. By the end of 2011 they will have killed more trees than Dutch Elm Disease.
EAB attacks all species of ash, and causes 99% mortality.
The most damaging stage of their life cycle is the larval stage
, when they tunnel around under the bark of the tree, feeding on the xylem and phloem.
After that they pupate, emerge as adults through distinctive 1/8 inch D shaped exit holes
, disperse, mate, and lay eggs on the bark of ash trees, starting the process all over again.
What is Prince William County doing about this?
The Mosquito & Forest Pest Management Branch is currently monitoring for EAB, using large sticky purple traps
You may have seen them hanging around the county.
They contain a lure that smells like sick ash trees to the insect.
EAB fly to the trap thinking it is a tree, and then get stuck on the purple sticky outside. Traps are used only for monitoring, not for reducing their numbers.
They will not attract EAB from other areas to your property.
The traps will only tell us if EAB are already present in or very near the tree in which it is hanging.
Due to the lifecycle of the EAB, the traps are put up by May 1 and stay up until September.