The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) said Monday that the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) (EAB) has been detected in another Connecticut town – Hamden.
This invasive insect has now been found in nine Connecticut towns, all in New Haven County.
This detection originated with a report and pictures submitted to the Office of the State Entomologist from a homeowner showing the insect’s galleries in their dying ash.
The emerald ash borer is responsible for the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees from the Midwest to New York State and south to Tennessee. Ash makes up about 4% to 15% of Connecticut’s forests and is a common urban tree.
The insects were previously confirmed in Prospect, Naugatuck, Bethany, Beacon Falls, Waterbury, Cheshire, Oxford, and Middlebury as part of surveys conducted by CAES, The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), and the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension via an agreement with USDA APHIS PPQ in joint efforts to detect the presence of EAB or the extent of the current New Haven County infestation.
EAB has also been identified in Dutchess County, New York and Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
“While most detections of EAB have been a result of our cooperative survey efforts, reports from Connecticut residents are also important to our efforts to detect and slow the spread of this destructive beetle” said State Entomologist Kirby C. Stafford III.
EAB Awareness Week is May 19-25th to increase public awareness about EAB and public education is important to the detection and proper response to EAB.
“This latest finding is a stark reminder of the devastation this tiny imported insect will have on Connecticut’s ash trees.
“DEEP reminds everyone that one of the best ways to combat the spread of EAB is to not move firewood – remember to buy local and burn local. We also encourage property owners to seek professional guidance from licensed arborists or certified foresters on steps they can consider to protect their own ash trees,” said Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Daniel C. Esty.
In Connecticut, a quarantine has previously been established that regulates the movement of ash logs, ash materials, ash nursery stock, and hardwood firewood from within New Haven County to any area outside of that county.
The quarantine currently applies to only that part of the state and mirrors a federal quarantine also imposed on New Haven County. The Hamden detection does not change the current quarantine.
In addition to the quarantine, regulations are in effect regulating the movement of firewood from out-of-state into Connecticut or within Connecticut. These regulations were put in place to ensure that EAB and other invasive insects are not carried into Connecticut, or spread throughout New England, through the shipment of firewood.
The emerald ash borer is a regulated plant pest under federal (7 CFR 301.53) and state (CT Gen. Statute Sec. 22-84-5d, e, and f) regulations.
For more information about the EAB, please visit the following website: www.emeraldashborer.info .
A fact sheet providing guidelines on the treatment of ash trees to protect them from EAB is also available at www.ct.gov/caes.
Vickie M. Bomba-Lewandoski works for the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.