Ash trees

The Emerald Ash Borer

September 2015

Throughout Ontario and Quebec, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is making its presence known. This small (8.5 to 14.0 mm long and 3.1 to 3.4 mm wide), metallic blue-green, narrow, hairless, elongate beetle only attacks ash trees of the genus Fraxinus, affecting all the areas within and south of the boundaries of the Division of Greater Sudbury in Ontario, over half the province, and within Québec all the areas within the boundaries of Montréal and north to municipalités régionales de comté (MRC) Antoine-Labelle.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the most tree damage is caused by the EAB larvae, which destroy the layer under the bark (the cambium) that is responsible for transporting nutrients and water throughout the tree. With this transport system blocked, an otherwise healthy tree may die in 2 to 5 years, depending on its age and the extent of infestation. Damage to the tree from the larvae will be apparent under the bark. The feeding larvae create distinctive serpentine (or S-shaped) galleries in the wood as they feed. Signs of EAB infestation usually only become apparent once a tree has been heavily infested. These signs include the loss of green colour in the uppermost leaves (chlorosis) and thinning and dieback of the crown. Adult EAB beetles typically begin to emerge from the tree in May, creating small D-shaped exit holes. These adults will then fly to the next available ash tree and feed on leaves until they lay eggs on the bark, which eventually become larvae and then the cycle begins again.

Eradication has proven difficult but a number of new treatments are being utilized beginning with regulation to control the movement of potentially infested materials (firewood), and the movement of materials can also be regulated through legal notices issued to property owners. People who move regulated materials from regulated areas without the permission of the CFIA could face fines and/or prosecution. Contact your local Canadian Food Inspection Agency office for additional information.

In August 2015, Natural Resources Canada released oobius agrili parasitic wasp into the National Capital Region in the fight against the destructive emerald ash borer in Ontario. The federal government recently approved the introduction of a foreign breed of parasitic, non-stinging wasp that destroys ash borer eggs from within. The wasp larvae eat the contents of the emerald ash borer eggs and then burst forth from the destroyed eggs as fully formed wasps to search for new eggs.

Since 2005, Nature has worked with clients in Ottawa and surrounding areas to maintain a pest-free environment in your home or business for years to come.
Call us today at 819-243-9849 or toll-free at 1-877-343-9849.

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