DEP Commissioner Dan Esty and Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Director Louis A. Magnarelli displayed new traps that are being distributed in the state to detect the presence of the Emerald Ash-borer (EAB), a highly destructive invasive insect recently discovered 25 miles from the Connecticut border in western New York.
Commissioner Esty, Director Magnarelli and representatives from the University of Connecticut displayed the traps (nicknamed “Barney” traps due to their large size and purple color) and discussed the state’s on-going efforts to combat the spreading EAB into Connecticut.
The EAB is an extremely destructive pest and is responsible for the death and decline of over 25 million ash trees in the U. S. since June 2002,. Connecticut has more than 22 million ash trees so its presence here could have a devastating effect on the state’s forests and trees.
940 detection traps will soon be set out across the state to monitor for the presence of the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) in Connecticut. The traps will be placed in every Connecticut County with the exception of Windham and New London counties because they are greater than 50 miles from the nearest known detection – about 25 miles from the Connecticut border in eastern New York.
Monitoring of the traps will be led by the University of Connecticut (UConn) Extension Service in cooperation with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), DEP Forestry and State Parks personnel, the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Additionally, many landowners, wood product businesses and municipalities will also have traps placed on their property.
Speaking in Bushnell Park in Hartford where the agencies involved were displaying the traps, DEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said, “The EAB is an extremely destructive pest and is responsible for the death and decline of over 25 million ash trees in the U. S. since June 2002.” “Considering Connecticut has more than 22 million ash trees, its presence here could have a devastating effect on the beauty of our forests, state and local parks and our neighborhoods as well as the state’s wood product industries.”
CAES Director Louis A. Magnarelli noted that “alerting citizens about the dangers of moving firewood and early detection of EAB are of paramount importance in our efforts to prevent the further spread of this destructive insect”.
Facts about the Monitoring Traps
• The traps are nicknamed “Barney traps” due to their large size (about 3-foot by 1- foot) and purple color.
• The traps will be placed in targeted locations similar to where EAB was initially detected in other states such as private and public campgrounds, DOT rest stops, nurseries, and wood product locations.
• The traps use oil as an attractant to lure the beetles to it.
• The surface of the trap is coated with a sticky material which causes the EAB to adhere to it.
• Traps cannot bring EAB into an area that is not already infested.
• Birds and other wildlife will not become entangled in the traps.
• The detection traps are sticky, but non-toxic to humans.
More information on the 2011 Emerald Ah Borer Monitoring Program is available at the following website: The 2011 CT Emerald Ash Borer Trapping Program
Background on EAB
The EAB is a small, green beetle that belongs to a large family of beetles known as the buprestids, or metallic wood boring beetles. The description is apt, as many of the buprestids appear as if their wing covers are made of polished metal. The adult EAB has green, iridescent wing covers and is approximately one-half inch in length.
The EAB is an insect that is not native to North America. It was first found in 2002 in the vicinity of Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. It is presumed to have arrived several years earlier presumably on woody packaging materials. It is now known to be found in 12 states and was discovered in nearby Saugerties, New York (25 miles from the Connecticut border) in July 2010. EABs feed strictly on ash trees. The larvae feed just beneath the bark on the inside of the trees, while the adults feed on leaves.
Ways to Prevent the Spread of EAB
• DEP and CAES urge citizens not to transport firewood. EAB spreads quickly on its own and can be inadvertently transported in untreated firewood and other forest products.
• Buy firewood locally at or near the campground, burn all firewood at your campsite before you leave, and never bring firewood home.
• For those who use firewood to heat their homes, your firewood should be from only a few miles away or at least in the same county.
DEP is asking Connecticut residents to report possible EAB infestations to CAES or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (APHIS-PPQ). Early detection, although difficult, is the best defense against further infestation. Residents suspecting they have seen EAB should report their findings to CAES at (203) 974-8474 or CAES.StateEntomologist@ct.gov (digital photos of suspect insects and damage on the trees are very helpful). Residents can also report sightings to APHIS-PPQ via their website at www.beetledetectives.com.