New Emerald Ash Borer Insecticide Guide Now Available

Homeowners, arborists and tree care specialists nationwide now have a comprehensive guide on emerald ash borer control.

Deb McCullough

Homeowners, arborists and tree care specialists nationwide now have a comprehensive guide on emerald ash borer (EAB) control. The insect pest feeds under the bark and has killed tens of millions of ash trees in Michigan and northern Ohio alone.

"Insecticide Options for Protecting Ash Trees from Emerald Ash Borer," written by research specialists from Michigan State University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Illinois, is available online. Printed copies also are available.

"This guide is the result of years of research on EAB and potential options for protecting landscape ash trees. It provides the most up-to-date information on insecticides that can be used to combat this pest, as well as what to consider before treating ash trees," said Deborah McCullough, MAES forest entomologist. "The guide is a collaborative effort to bring the best knowledge we have to people living in areas with EAB."

"Our understanding of how EAB can be managed successfully with insecticides has increased substantially in recent years," said lead author Dan Herms, an entomologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and OSU Extension. "There are effective treatments available for both professionals and do-it-yourselfers, including some that are applied in the soil, injected in the trunk of the tree, or sprayed on the trunk, branches or foliage."

Since it was discovered in 2002 in the Detroit area, EAB has been found in 12 states (most recently Kentucky) and two Canadian provinces. It continues to kill tens of millions of ash trees. Because the pest was virtually unknown outside its native Asia before 2002, scientists have been scrambling to find out all they could about the pest and the best ways to control it.

"People still want to know if they can either save or protect their ash trees from EAB," said David Smitley, MAES entomologist. "The information in this guide should be very helpful for those dealing with EAB or contemplating what to do as infestations are found in their area."

The guide includes frequently asked questions, information on insecticide products available for EAB control and how to use them, and a summary of results from studies that tested the effectiveness of the various insecticides. The guide also presents key points to consider and recommendations for dealing with EAB.

"As EAB infestations continue to be found, it's important for everyone to realize that North America could lose its entire ash resource -- that?s at least 15 ash species," McCullough said. "Though insecticides can effectively protect valuable ash trees in the landscape, billions of ash trees in U.S. forests will not be treated. These trees will eventually be killed by EAB. To help slow the spread of EAB, we encourage people to buy their firewood locally, burn it completely before leaving a campsite and avoid transporting ash firewood."

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