HARRISBURG, Pa. — Emerald ash borer beetle has been discovered in Bucks, Franklin, Jefferson, Perry, Snyder and Venango counties. With these new finds, 28 Pennsylvania counties are now dealing with the invasive ash tree-killing pest.
“Emerald Ash Borer beetles have plagued Pennsylvania since 2007 with new positive sites found each year,” said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. “You can help prevent the further spread of these pests by not hauling firewood from place to place. Burn it where you buy it.”
The beetle was recently found in: Warrington, Bucks County; along I-76 close to Willow Hill, Franklin County; near Brookville, Jefferson County; at a campground near Liverpool, Perry County; near the state hospital in Selinsgrove in Snyder County; and at a campground close to Emlenton, Venango County.
As part of a national survey, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture emerald ash borer crews began hanging more than 750 triangular purple traps from ash trees in eastern Pennsylvania in May. The traps are designed to attract flying adult beetles to help detect further spread.
Additionally, more than 350 non-trap survey sites were investigated for presence of the pest. Crews will continue to monitor the traps and sites through August.
DCNR is providing support to communities and state parks to develop management plans for the Emerald Ash Borer, including creating a model management plan with the Borough of West Chester and West Chester University. The agency is also working to obtain grants to protect trees against attack and releasing biological control agents to fight the pest.
A federal emerald ash borer quarantine restricts moving ash nursery stock, green lumber, and any other ash material, including logs, stumps, roots and branches, from the state.
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. No firewood may be moved into Pennsylvania from another state without proper inspection and certification.
Dead in three years
Emerald ash borer beetles can kill an ash tree within three years of the initial infestation.
Native to Asia, 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.
The invasive emerald ash borer beetle was first detected in Michigan in 2002 before spreading to Butler County, Pa., in the summer of 2007.
It has since been found in other counties, including Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Centre, Clarion, Cumberland, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, Juniata, Lawrence, Lycoming, Mercer, Mifflin, Somerset, Sullivan, Union, Washington, Westmoreland and Wyoming in addition to the recent discoveries in Bucks, Franklin, Jefferson, Perry, Snyder and Venango.
People who suspect they have found Emerald Ash Borer beetles in a new area should call the department’s toll-free automated pest hotline at 1-866-253-7189.