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Friday, Jan. 9th 2015

Emerald Ash Borer News


The emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is a non-native forest pest causing widespread mortality of ash trees in North America. By the end of 2014, it had been detected in 24 US states stretching from Colorado to the East Coast and in Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

EAB had been detected in nine Missouri counties by the end of 2013: seven in south central and southeastern Missouri (Bollinger, Butler, Madison, Perry, Pulaski, Reynolds, and Wayne) and two (Jackson and Platte) in the Kansas City area.

Two more counties were added to the list in 2014. EAB populations were detected in Clay County, confirming the spread of EAB into all three Kansas City counties. The first known EAB infesta- tion in the St. Louis area was reported in May by an alert citizen who observed EAB signs on an ash tree in Lake St. Louis (St. Charles County). The find was quickly confirmed by state and federal officials. The Lake St. Louis population was also detected later in the summer with the standard sticky traps used in the annual EAB detection survey.

Over 110 EAB traps were monitored in 2014 in the St. Louis area (St. Charles, St. Louis and Jefferson counties) and in mid-Missouri (Boone and Cole counties) by the Missouri Department of Agricul- ture. An additional nine traps were placed on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus by MU landscape staff. The Missouri Department of Conservation monitored 10 traps in the St. Joseph area, just north of the known EAB infestations in Kansas City. See for more information about EAB in Missouri.

EAB populations are growing in the Kansas City area and are especially high in Platte County. The City of Kansas City MO manages an aggressive response to the invader ( emerald-ash-borer/). A large number of ash trees are being pre- served by treating them with an injectable systemic insecticide every two to three years. Many ash trees that are not well-suited for treatment are purposely stressed to create “trap trees” used for monitoring EAB populations. Unhealthy ash trees that are re- moved are replaced with a variety of other tree species.

Due to the scattered distribution of EAB across Missouri, state and federal quarantines are in effect for the entire state. Transporting any untreated hardwood firewood or any ash wood or trees outside of Missouri is prohibited. Within Missouri, we should all adopt the practice of getting firewood near where we are going to burn it. Many forest pests, in addition to EAB, can hitchhike in firewood. For more information, see:

Efforts continued this year to establish biological controls for EAB. Three species of stingless parasitic wasps that specifically attack EAB have been released in at least 19 states since 2007. The Missouri Dept. of Agriculture, in cooperation with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, released these wasp species in 2014 in some EAB- infested areas of Platte County. Releases also occurred in 2012 and 2013 in Wayne County in south- eastern Missouri. More information about EAB biological control is available at:


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