The key to success in controlling the spread of emerald ash borers is to get the word out to as many people as possible that trees can be saved with proper treatment.
That is the message of UW-College of Agriculture and Life sciences Professor of Entomology Chris Williamson in a four-minute YouTube video titled “Catch the Bug.”
EAB is an invasive insect from Asia that was first identified in 2002 in Michigan and Ontario, Canada, and has since spread across much of the eastern half of the United States. Pockets of infestations have been found as far west as the eastern borders of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, and near Boulder, Col.
Williamson said the larvae of the organism feed inside the ash trees “out of sight, out of mind,” eating through the cambial layer of tissue that transports nutrients from the ground to upper limbs and eventually killing the tree.
In nature, the adult beetles move slowly, but they are aided by humans who transport infested ash products and firewood into new areas.
If infestations have been identified nearby, homeowners should treat their trees or face possible catastrophic consequences.
“I say catastrophic, because what we found through research is that the landscape increases the value of a home by as much as 15 percent,” Williamson said. “So, in my opinion, a 15 percent loss to your property could be considered catastrophic.”
Homeowners with ash trees 32 to 35 inches in diameter or more should hire a professional to treat the trees with insecticide. Smaller diameter trees can be treated by the homeowner with tree and shrub insecticide for EAB purchased at a garden center.
“Read and follow the label directions and apply it appropriately,” Williamson said.
Treatment can increase probability of survival of the tree 90 to 95 percent.
“We will not eradicate emerald ash borer, but we can manage it to the best of our abilities,” he said.
To watch the video, go to https://youtu.be/Ywm_-5JaX1s.