Ash borer beetles are making a comeback. The bright green bugs are invading and destroying trees in multiple states.
The beetles lay eggs under the bark of ash trees. The larvae eventually eat their way inside the trees, boring their way out as adults. Their habits leave distinct patterns, which help identify infestation.
Emerald ash borers cause trees to lose vital nutrients and moisture. Infestation is categorized into several phases depending on the damage caused. Serious damage is evidenced by dying leaves, which are the result of nutrient loss.
Unfortunately, obvious signs of infestation may not appear for several years.
As reported by UPI, the pests have destroyed at least 26 trees in Michigan City, Indiana. Urban Forester Frank Seilheimer explains that the trees currently have a phase two infestation.
In an effort to prevent further infestation in the surrounding area, the trees will be removed.
As reported by Christian Science Monitor, residents in Iowa are dealing with the second infestation in three years. The discovery of emerald ash borer beetles in Burlington has prompted a quarantine for Des Moines County.
During the quarantine, residents must obtain a permit to move ash wood, or wood chips, out of the county. As wood product companies thrive in Des Moines County, officials will work with industry leaders to develop a reasonable plan.
Officials in Ontario, Canada, have also noted recent infestations. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced the presence of ash borer beetles on two properties in Kawartha Lakes.
As reported by Christian Post, residents have been notified of the infestation and restrictions on moving ash wood are in place. There are now 32 counties in Ontario with a confirmed ash borer presence.
Emerald ash borers are an invasive species. They were first detected in the US in 2002. It is suspected that they traveled to the US in cargo arriving in Detroit from Asia. The beetles are transported throughout the states in firewood, lumber, and wood chips.
More than 50 million trees in North America have been destroyed by the invasive bugs. Ash trees usually dies within four years of an ash borer beetle infestation.
[Image via Flickr]