Emerald Ash Borer Beetle
We’ve already seen the destruction that the Asian longhorned beetle can do to trees in Massachusetts, and now there’s another beetle to worry about- the emerald ash borer beetle. The good news is that it hasn’t reached Massachusetts yet, so prevention is key. It has been found in 15 states, the closest being New York.
The emerald ash borer beetle is a tiny metallic green beetle with purple abdominal segments. It can fit on the head of a penny, making it is hard to spot. The larva tunnel under the bark of the ash tree, eventually killing the tree. The beetles have already decimated millions of ash trees in the U.S. The beetles can’t fly very far; they are mainly transported by humans through the movement of firewood from state to state.
Red Sox fans should be particularly concerned. Northern white ash trees, which are used to make Louisville Slugger baseball bats, are susceptible to the beetle.
Prevention is easy. Don’t move firewood. Buy it at the campsite, burn it on-site, and leave extra wood there. You can also learn to identify the signs of beetle infestation and report it. Signs include canopy dieback, growth of shoots, bark splitting, tunnels under the bark, and increased woodpecker sightings on the tree.
Scientists are working to control the beetles by using a natural predator, the stingless wasp. Learn more: http://www.stopthebeetle.info/