Interception of Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
On September 27, 2007, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the detection of single emerald ash borer (EAB) larva in Moran, Mackinac County, on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This larva was initially collected from a detection tree on September 16, 2007. After confirming this detection, the affected detector tree was removed and its bark was stripped, revealing a total of 25 additional EAB larvae upon inspection.
The Moran infestation site is approximately 5 miles east of a lake with summer cottages and recreational homes. The site is in close proximity to a wilderness area and a research area that are both part of the Hiawatha National Forest.
In order to provide an indication of density and distribution of EAB in the area, a delimiting survey was initiated on October 22, 2007, by the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Pesticide and Plant Pest Management staff. This will include destructive sampling of ash trees in the area, including any additional detection trees in the vicinity of the find. Based on the results of the surveys, which are anticipated to be completed by mid-November, MDA and APHIS officials will determine whether additional trees will have to be removed to prevent further pest spread.
In addition to survey and regulatory activities, the MDA and APHIS officials are planning an aggressive outreach and education campaign to enlist the support and cooperation of homeowners and businesses. EAB can be spread easily through the movement of firewood and ash nursery stock. Public awareness and assistance will be critical in encouraging residents to report possible beetle damage in their area, as well as in preventing the spread of this insect through the movement of regulated articles.
APHIS and MDA will quarantine the affected county to prevent additional pest spread. APHIS is currently preparing an interim rule for publication in the Federal Register to implement a quarantine of Mackinac County to prevent the movement of host materials (nursery stock, firewood, etc.) out of the area.
Interception of Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) in West Virginia
On October 17, 2007, APHIS confirmed the detection of one EAB larva from a detection tree in Fayette County, West Virginia. This is the first confirmed EAB detection in this state. After confirming this detection, the affected detector tree was removed and its bark was stripped, revealing seven additional EAB larvae upon inspection.
The affected facility is an outdoor recreational site supporting camping, mountain biking, and white water rafting. This site is located approximately 180 miles south of the nearest EAB detection in the area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The movement of EAB-infested firewood is an important pathway for moving the beetle and is believed to be how the insect found its way to Fayette County.
APHIS and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture personnel returned to the site on October 19, to determine the prevalence of ash trees in the immediate area and scout for signs of additional EAB-infested trees. Ash trees are a scarce component of West Virginia’s forests; no more than 5 percent of the state’s counties have any significant ash tree populations. This makes it difficult to locate ash trees to use as EAB detection trees. Delimitation surveys may be supplemented with the use of new trapping technology developed by APHIS methods and development staff.
EAB is present in other areas of the United States, including Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, Michigan, and Prince George’s County, Maryland. It was first detected in the United States in southeastern Michigan. Since then, EAB has been responsible for the death and decline of more that 25 million ash trees in the United States. APHIS is working with State cooperators and foresters to raise public awareness about the high risk of spreading EAB associated with the interstate movement of firewood from quarantined areas.
Under IPPC standards, the emerald ash borer is considered to be a pest that is present, only in some areas and subject to official control in the United States.