Last updated: August 25. 2013 1:28AM - 46 Views

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They're coming back and they're hungry for ash trees.Emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that feeds on North American ashtrees, will begin flying again in the state of Indiana in May. With there-emergence of this invasive pest, Purdue University experts are advisingways people can help slow its spread."One of the biggest issues we've seen with emerald ash borer (EAB) iscampers unsuspectingly spreading the insect by transporting firewood fromplace to place," Purdue entomologist Jodie Ellis said. "It is of utmostimportance that firewood is purchased and burned completely at the camper'sdestination."Beyond avoiding firewood movement, Indiana residents should be sure theyare following township and county wood quarantines."In areas where EAB infestations have been confirmed, no ash productsshould be moved out of the infested township," Ellis said. "In addition, noash products should leave the county either. These quarantines help slow theinsect from spreading into unaffected areas."Indiana currently has 17 counties with confirmed infestations, includingAdams, Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Hamilton, Huntington, LaGrange, Marion,Noble, Porter, Randolph, St. Joseph, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, White andWhitley. A large portion of Ohio that borders Indiana to the east now hasconfirmed infestations as well.In some areas where emerald ash borer is confirmed, residents have facedsome additional challenges - including scammers."We want to make sure consumers are educating themselves about theiroptions if emerald ash borer is found in their areas or on theirproperties," Ellis said. "If someone knocks on your door and says you havean infestation, make sure you do your homework before having the treetreated or removed."While the tree may appear to be infested with larvae under the bark,it's important to realize that other non-harmful insect larvae live underthe bark of ash trees. This doesn't necessarily mean an EAB infestation ispresent."Emerald ash borer is difficult to detect, and only trained professionalswill have that ability, Ellis said."If you're not sure whether your tree is actually infested, call PurdueExtension or the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and get anexpert's advice on how to proceed," she said. "If an infestation isconfirmed, you have more than one option. Although it might be a good idea,you are not required to have that tree removed. In some cases an infestedash tree can be treated and can recover."Purdue Extension can be reached by calling (888) EXT-INFO, or Ellis canbe contacted directly at (765) 494-0822, ellisj@purdue.edu. The IDNR has anexotic species hotline where emerald ash borer information can be obtainedby dialing (866) NO-EXOTIC (663-9684).Additionally, Purdue's emerald ash borer Web site with up to dateinformation can be found at http://www.entm.purdue.edu/eab. The site alsocontains a link to the page in Spanish.Since its discovery near Detroit in 2002, emerald ash borer hasdestroyed millions of ash trees in 7 states, thousands of which have been inIndiana.  

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