Mission: Emerald ash borer

Research Question

Are there signs of the emerald ash borer in your town?

Picasa, DAB3218

You're invited

The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and Maine Forest Service want folks in Maine on the lookout for signs of the emerald ash borer (EAB).

Emerald ash borer is metallic green and about a half of an inch long. Adult beetles are hard to locate and do little harm to ash trees, while the larvae tunnel under the bark and disrupt the systems that transport food and water to the tree, eventually killing it.

More about this species

Larvae have such a significant impact on ash trees, that the trees show visible sympoms. Epicormic shoots are a strong indication of an emerald ash borer infestation (pictured to the right). These are the type of symptoms for which we would like you to look.

You are also invited to spread the word about this invasive species, the impact it could have on Maine trees, and the importance of not moving firewood.

If you are interested in helping look for the adult beetle, check out this mission!

    Mission: Biomonitoring with Wasps
Epicormic Shoots - US FS

Mission steps

1. Print the EAB fact Sheet at Beetle Detectives.

2. Print a Upland Species Survey datasheet.

3. Look for for the EAB host species that are native to Maine: white ash, green ash and black ash.

4. Look for signs of the beetle detailed at Signs and Symptoms.

5. Go to your My Vital Signs page (link at top right) to add your "EAB found" or "EAB not found" observation

    -Add to your Field Notes the number of trees you looked at (1 or more)
    -Add to your Field Notes the species of trees you looked at

6. Go to the Beetle Detectives website to send your observation to the USDA

    -Pick "Maine-Vital Signs, Gulf of Maine Research Institute"
    -Copy and paste the URL to your Vital Signs observation as part of your description
    -NOTE: USDA asks that you look at a minimum of 10 host trees:
    >Teachers & students: Pool your class data to reach 10 trees
    >Citizen scientists: Don't have 10 host trees nearby? Work with your neighbors!

7. When you report your observations to Beetle Detectives website they want to thank you with some cool items that will help you in the field (a field notebook, a hand lens, and a nylon disc).

Daniel Herms, Ohio State Univ.

Why this Mission matters

Direct from the USDA's Stop the Beetle website:
EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin since it arrived in the United States. EAB was first found in Michigan in 2002, and probably arrived in the United States by way of wood packing material from Asia.

EAB spreads as people transport firewood from infested locations into uninfested locations. EAB has already caused millions of dollars worth of damage. Help the USDA stop the spread of this invasive beetle by monitoring the ash trees in your neighborhood and educating your community about the importance of burning firewood where you buy it.

Want to know and do more?

Borrow Identification Kits from Vital Signs
We have a few Identification kits supplied by USDA APHIS. Email us with the following information:

  1. Name, contact information, and address
  2. Dates (beginning and end date) that you will need the kit
  3. How you will use the kit in your program


Here is a cool resource to see county level observations of forest pests from across the country http://foresthealth.fs.usda.gov/portal/Flex/APE

This shows where some of those species that haven't been found in Maine yet, have been found. I'm not sure if it's totally up to date since I didn't see red pine scale found in Maine.


If you're on Twitter, follow @emeraldashborer for a great source of EAB news.

Some recent updates -

Study found that woodpeckers were important predators for this invasive!

Another study being conducted to see if EAB natural predators can help manage this pest

Don't forget to keep an eye on the Species News page.

Learn more about invasive forest pests, Wednesday, 6/6/2012

Check out this blog post for details: http://vitalsignsme.org/blog/bugs-trees