May 23, 2011
Kansas Department of Agriculture
(785) 296-2653 phone
Emerald Ash Borer Traps Set in Kansas
TOPEKA – Kansans may notice triangle-shaped purple boxes hanging from ash trees across the state. Often mistaken for kites gone astray, the 24-inch-long boxes are actually traps set by the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) to detect whether a pest known as emerald ash borer has entered the state.
Kansas is one of 48 states participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) survey to monitor known emerald ash borer infestations and detect unknown beetle populations.
“Emerald ash borer has not been found in Kansas and we hope we don’t catch any of the pests,” said Laurinda Ramonda, KDA state Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey coordinator. “However, these traps are an important monitoring tool. In the event of infestation, early detection would help KDA limit the spread of emerald ash borer.”
KDA set 100 of the purple traps and USDA set an additional 100 traps in the state. The traps are coated with nontoxic glue. While they pose no risk to humans, pets or wildlife, their glue can be messy if touched.
Kansans are encouraged to report downed traps to the Kansas Department of Agriculture at 785-862-2180.
The traps are to attract and catch the emerald ash borer, a small, metallic-green, wood-boring beetle native to Asia. Originally detected in Michigan in 2002, the pest has also been found in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec.
Adult emerald ash borers are about one-half inch long and they emerge in late spring. The larvae feed just under the bark of a tree, which damages and eventually kills the tree. Trees infested with emerald ash borer will have canopy dieback, water sprouts, bark splitting, serpentine-like galleries and D-shaped exit holes.
All ash species in North America are susceptible to emerald ash borer, and more than 30 million ash trees have been killed by the insect. The insect spreads to new areas when people move firewood, nursery products or other infested wood products.
To learn more about the emerald ash borer, visit www.emeraldashborer.info.
For more on this year’s USDA survey visit http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/emerald_ash_b/downloads/PurpleTrapQandA2011.pdf