Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week begins today in Ohio and 15 other participating states. Ohio University and Ohio State University both have programs helping to educate the public about the emerald ash borer, the damage that it causes, and what people can do to prevent spreading it further.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an exotic beetle from Asia that was discovered in 2002 in Michigan. Adult beetles eat ash foliage which doesn't cause much damage, but the insect's larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients.
Since first discovering the EAB, it has spread, killing millions of ash trees in Ohio, several surrounding states, plus parts of Canada. Enforcement quarantines are now in effect by regulatory agencies, including the USDA to prevent potentially infected ash trees from moving out of areas where EAB occurs.
Have you ever seen the magnets and bumper stickers that say, "Don't move firewood. It BUGS me." These are about EABs. When camping, it is important to buy local firewood and burn it locally. Most regulated campsites have education programs in place to prevent more movement of the EAB.
This week, volunteers across Ohio are participating in tree tagging initiatives to increase awareness in the spread of EAB. Many cities have committed to hanging metal signs that say "Don't Move Firewood", reminding people that they can help to prevent the spread.
Ohio State University, Purdue University and Michigan State University have collaborated to produce Emerald Ash Borer University. Educational webinars can be viewed from their website.
For Ohio, this is the contact information regarding the moving of firewood. EAB Hotline: 888-OHIO-EAB, Plant Pest Control Section: 614-728-6400, Plant Industry Division: 614-728-6270, Ohio Department of Agriculture: 614-728-6200.
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