Emerald Ash Borer Found In Indiana County; Quarantine Expanded
Emerald Ash Borer beetles have been found near Ewings Mill, Indiana County, bringing to 10 the number of counties where the ash tree-destroying pest has been identified, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said this week.
In response to this latest discovery, Secretary Wolff said a state-imposed quarantine is being expanded to include Indiana County. He reminded residents and visitors to use only locally harvested firewood, burn all of the firewood on-site, and not carry it to new locations.
State and federal Emerald Ash Borer quarantines restrict the movement from the quarantine area of ash nursery stock, green lumber and any other ash material, including logs, stumps, roots and branches, and all wood chips.
"Our survey crews are assessing the extent of the infestation in Indiana County and surrounding areas," said Secretary Wolff. "Due to the difficulty in distinguishing between species of hardwood firewood, all hardwood firewood and wood chips—including ash, oak, maple and hickory—are considered quarantined. Consumers need to heed the quarantine when traveling and camping this summer—not just in the quarantined areas, but throughout Pennsylvania—to prevent any further spread of the beetle."
The invasive beetle was first detected in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2007 in Butler County, and subsequently was found in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Lawrence, Mercer, Mifflin, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
This summer, 20 crews – 15 in western Pennsylvania, one in Mifflin County, and four in the eastern part of the state – and two regional coordinators have been deployed to assess the spread of the beetle.
Emerald Ash Borer is a wood-boring beetle native to China and eastern Asia. The pest likely arrived in North America hidden in wood packing materials commonly used to ship consumer and other goods.
It was first detected in July 2002 in southeastern Michigan and neighboring Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In addition to Pennsylvania, the beetle is attacking ash trees in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin, and is responsible for the death and decline of more than 40 million trees.
Typically, the beetles will kill an ash tree within three years of the initial infestation. Adults are dark green, one-half inch in length and one-eighth inch wide, and fly only from early May until September. Larvae spend the rest of the year beneath the bark of ash trees. When they emerge as adults, they leave D-shaped holes in the bark about one-eighth inch wide.
There is no known practical control for this wood-boring pest other than destroying infested trees.
People who suspect they have seen Emerald Ash Borer should call the department's toll-free pest hotline at 1-866-253-7189. For more information about the quarantine, contact Walt Blosser at 717-772-5205, and for more information about Emerald Ash Borer, contact Sven-Erik Spichiger at 717-772-5229.
The national survey is being conducted in cooperation with U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the United States Forest Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry.
For more information, visit Agriculture's Emerald Ash Borer webpage.
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