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NJ Fighting to Hold Back Emerald Ash Borer Invasion [AUDIO]

The Emerald Ash Borer is creeping closer to New Jersey all the time. This pest bug devours Ash trees. But tree experts are fighting back against the invasion.

Emerald Ash Borer
Flickr User U.S. Department of Agriculture

This Ash tree-eating Beetle is responsible for the destruction of hundreds of millions of the trees since it was first discovered in Detroit. It has spread to our neighbors in parts of Pennsylvania and New York. The State Agriculture Department’s Carl Schulze says you can help hold back the borer by never transporting firewood into New Jersey from other states. At this point, no one is quite sure when or where the Ash borer will show up in the state. Schulze says if it makes its way here, there are protective treatments that can be useds against the Beetle by Arborists and Landscapers to help home owners to save their Ash trees.

The half-inch beetle travels up to 10 miles per day, feeding on ash leaves for its brief adult life. However, it is the larvae that do the damage and give the spectacular beetle the latter part of its name.

Schulze says if you see the little purple traps that have been set to detect the vanguard bugs of the invasion, don’t tamper with them. They’re there for a reason. The sticky and scented purple boxes are designed to attract adult beetles near the end of their one- to two-year lifespans. Approximately 2 feet tall, the open-ended triangular traps have a sticky non-toxic coating that detect rather than catch the invasive species, which can wipe out an entire ash grove in 11 years.

According to an April 2012 report, the USDA’s objective has shifted from eradication to containment and management of the invasion that is threatening a total compensatory value of $282 billion in ash trees.

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