[This post has been updated since the original publication.]
Huffington Post Green had a great article today about efforts to study and control the emerald ash borer (EAB).
The EAB was introduced into North America from Asia, and according to the US Forest Service, it's the most destructive forest insect in recent history. So far, the EAB has been difficult to detect, let alone control or eradicate, thus it often establishes itself several years before it is detected. Because foresters have had such a hard time managing EAB infestations it's feared that the majority of ash trees in North America could be lost.
Agrilus planipennis, the emerald ash borer [Photo credit: forestryimages.org.]
Large numbers of infected ash trees were first reported in the Detroit and neighboring Windsor, Ontario in 2002. The EAB has now spread to Michigan, much of Ohio, and parts of Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Newer infestations have been confirmed over the past two years in Kentucky, Minnesota, and New York, more areas of Ontario and in Quebec.
According to the HuffPost Green article, more than 60,000 purple triangular traps have been placed in 48 different states as part of a survey led and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to track the emerald ash borer. Surveys have been conducted annually since 2008.
A purple trap used for a U.S.government-sponsored nationwide emerald ash borer tracking program. This one was found on Meier Road in Vanderburgh County, Indiana, near Darmstadt. [Photo and caption credit: Bob the Wikipedian]
The USDA Forest Service, in collaboration with Michigan State University (EAB website administrator), Purdue University and Ohio State University, have set up an emerald ash borer website to provide comprehensive, accurate and timely information to the public. Resources there include the integrated program strategy document (pdf 343kb) for reducing impacts of the EAB throughout the northeast, links to photos and information for homeowners. You can also access some informative on-demand webinars on the emerald ash borer.