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Bug on the Bridge of Flowers! Emerald Ash Borer

"Emerald Ash Borer"

When a 5 foot tall bug appears on the Bridge of Flowers we all take notice. Especially when it is a shimmering shade of emerald green

"Emerald Ash Borer"

I wasn’t the only one taking photos of this beautiful creature. But beauty is as beauty does, and the Emerald Ash Borer is no beauty infesting and killing ash trees. The USDA Forest Service has created a website with full information about how to watch  ash trees for damage. These bugs are only half an inch long with  metallic green backs. They lay their eggs only in ash tree bark where they hatch and eat their way to an exit hole. Watch for extra woodpecker activity and damage, as well as sprouts from the root of the tree and branches dying from the top down.

Fortunately, no one has found the Emerald Ash Borer in Massachusetts yet, but infestations are in the adjacent states of Connecticut and New York. We all have to be aware of threats to our trees before the damage is so great that the only cure is the wholesale removal of our trees which is happening in Worcester, Mass. due to the Asian Longhorned Beetle.

The Emerald Ash Borer is not a native insect. It originated in eastern Russia  and northern China. No one knows how it arrived in North American, but it probably came as ash wood used for stabilizing cargo is ships or in crating for heaving products. The Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Longhorned Beetle are not unique invaders. The Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health has an excellent website naming hundred of invasive insects, diseases, plants, fish and more. We must all be on the alert, and not complain when we have to take routine precautions when we have to wash the bottom of our boat when moving it from place to place.

Do you battle any invasives where you are?

6 comments to Bug on the Bridge of Flowers! Emerald Ash Borer

  • That costume looks pretty warm given the weather we’ve been having.

  • Pat

    Jason – I was glad I didn’t have to wear it!

  • I hope this costumed Emerald Ash Borer is the only one you actually see, Pat! This insect has been spotted in our county and is a growing threat here. Some of the ash trees in neighboring towns have been cut down as preventative measures, sadly. I’m watching my two ash trees and am planning to treat them this fall in hopes of saving them.

  • What an entertaining and effective way to warn folks of the danger!

  • That is a good campaign, but might not be worth it in this part of the world. A lot of invasives are wrecking havoc here and gets the ire of farmers, gardeners and all of us, but we don’t have much resources and political will to get rid off them. Our lakes and rivers are not exemptions too, they are full of invaders!

  • Pat

    Rose – I am so sorry to hear that the ash borer has reached you. I will visualize a rescue for you.
    Cindy – We certainly hope it is effective!
    Andrea – Soil and water are full of invaders and we have to strengthen our will to get rid of them – and prevent others.

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