The Emerald Ash Borer, EAB, is proving itself an irrepressible pest in Virginia's forests, in both rural areas and towns. A quarantine for the destructive beetle that attacks ash trees has been extended to the southside part of the in the state, including the counties of Charlotte, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg and Pittsylvania and the city of Danville.
Those areas join a quarantine that until now has been limited to Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Clarke and Frederick counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park and Winchester, Virginia.
The practice of moving firewood and other wood products from infested to non-infested areas spreads the pests. This quarantine is designed to restrict the movement of regulated articles from quarantined localities to non-quarantined localities and it includes ash trees, green (non-heat treated) ash lumber and ash wood products, as well as hardwood firewood. These regulated articles may move freely within the quarantined areas, however.
EAB has killed millions of ash trees in the U.S. and Canada. The adult emerald ash borer is metallic green in color and about one-half inch long and one-eighth inch wide. The adult female deposits eggs on the bark of ash trees.
After EAB eggs hatch into larvae they chew their way into the soft wood beneath the bark. This disrupts the trees' vascular system, cutting off the flow of water and nutrients. EAB in the larval stage are difficult to detect as they feed under the tree bark, which enables EAB to hitch a ride to new areas when people transport firewood or other infested wood products.
The orders extending the quarantine were signed by Matthew J. Lohr, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
You can learn more about the Emerald Ash Borer by visiting http://www.emeraldashborer.info/ or calling 804-786-3515.
Homeowners, arborists and tree care professionals often seek information on how to protect their valuable ash trees from EAB. The website includes information on insecticide options.