HARRISBURG, Pa., July 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Emerald Ash Borer, which causes damage to Pennsylvania's $25 billion hardwoods industry, has been discovered in Huntingdon and Wyoming counties. With these new finds, 21 counties are now dealing with the invasive ash tree-killing pest.
The public is urged not to transport firewood more than 50 miles from where it was purchased in order to help slow the beetle's spread.
"With summer camping trips and bonfires underway, we urge all Pennsylvanians and visitors to help prevent the further spread of these pests by not hauling firewood from place to place," said Secretary of Agriculture George Greig.
In Huntingdon County, the beetle was found by the department's survey crews in Mt. Union. The Wyoming County infestation is in Monroe Township along Route 309.
The Pennsylvania Agriculture Department Emerald Ash Borer survey crews began hanging more than 2,000 triangular purple traps from ash trees in eastern Pennsylvania in May. The traps are designed to attract flying adult beetles to help detect further spread. Crews will continue to monitor the traps all summer and remove them by the end of August.
Typically, the Emerald Ash Borer beetles will kill an ash tree within three years of the initial infestation. Adults are dark green, one-half inch in length and one-eighth inch wide, and fly only from early May until September. Larvae spend the rest of the year beneath the bark of ash trees. When they emerge as adults, they leave D-shaped holes in the bark about one-eighth inch wide.
People who suspect they have found Emerald Ash Borer beetles should call the department's toll-free pest hotline at 1-866-253-7189.
The invasive Emerald Ash Borer beetle was first detected in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2007 in Butler County, and has since been found in 20 other counties, including Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Centre, Clarion, Cumberland, Fulton, Indiana, Juniata, Lawrence, Lycoming, Mercer, Mifflin, Somerset, Union, Washington and Westmoreland, in addition to the recent discoveries in Huntingdon and Wyoming counties.
A federal Emerald Ash Borer quarantine restricts moving ash nursery stock, green lumber, and any other ash material, including logs, stumps, roots and branches, from the state. However, due to the difficulty in distinguishing between species of hardwood firewood, all hardwood firewood and wood chips—including ash, oak, maple and hickory—are considered quarantined.
The wood-boring beetle is native to China and eastern Asia. The pest likely arrived in North America in wooden shipping materials. It was first detected in July 2002 in southeastern Michigan and neighboring Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In addition to Pennsylvania, the beetle is attacking ash trees in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The national survey is being conducted in cooperation with U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the United States Forest Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry.
More information about Pennsylvania's Emerald Ash Borer detection and consumer education efforts, including weekly survey results, can be found at www.agriculture.state.pa.us by searching "Emerald Ash Borer."
Media contact: Nicole L. C. Bucher, 717-787-5085
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture