State Officials Confirm Emerald Ash Borer Detected in Essex County

— From Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Blog

On December 9,the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) announced that the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been detected and confirmed to be in North Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts. On August 31, 2012, EAB was detected in Berkshire County in the Town of Dalton. Since the insect does not travel far on its own, moving firewood or ash trees across the state is likely the cause of the new infestation. To date, 22 states across the country have confirmed detections of EAB.

Residents are urged to take the time to learn the signs of EAB damage and be sure to report any sightings.

  • Look for tiny, D-shaped exit holes in the bark of ash trees, dieback in the upper third of the tree canopy, and sprouting of branches just below this dead area.
  • In the winter months, look for signs of EAB infestation left by woodpecker activity on ash trees. Fresh, light-colored wood pecks stand out against the darker bark of the tree. Severe woodpecker activity at the base of the canopy or on the main stems may indicate possible EAB infestation and should be reported to state forest health personnel immediately.
  • The Emerald Ash Borer is an emerald-green metallic beetle, so small that seven of them could fit on the head of a penny. Don’t worry about look-alikes – if you think you see signs of EAB, report it!

DCR and APHIS will be scheduling listening sessions in Essex County in January to provide the community with information relative to the finding and address questions. Click here to report suspicious tree damage or insect sightings, or to learn more about this pest. You can also call the toll free EAB hotline at 1-866-322-4512.

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