What Is EAB?

The adult Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle:

This invasive insect is bright, metallic green, about 1/2″ long with a flattened back. It has purple abdominal segments under its wing covers. The EAB can fit on the head of a penny, and is hard to spot in the wild.

The EAB larva:

It’s the larva that does all the harm to ash trees. Larvae tunnel under the bark and disrupt the tree’s systems that transport food and water, eventually starving and killing it.

Where is the EAB?

Since it was first detected in North America, the beetle has been found in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. More states are at risk.

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle has killed tens of millions of trees, from forests to neighborhoods. Here’s how you can help protect our trees:

How did it get here?

The EAB probably arrived inside wood packing material from Asia. Since its discovery in southeastern Michigan in 2002, the EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees.

How does it spread?

EAB adults are strong flyers, but most of them only fly short distances (about 1/2 mile). So they don’t spread far on their own. Most new infestations are caused by people unknowingly taking infested ash to an uninfested area.

Where can the beetle hide?

Infested ash materials can include any part of an ash tree including logs, stumps, branches of almost any size, composted or uncomposted chips, nursery stock and especially firewood.

What is the cost?

EAB infestations have already cost municipalities, property owners, and industries millions of dollars. If we don’t stop the beetle, the economic costs will be unimaginable and our yards, woods and neighborhoods may never be the same again.

Download a fact sheet on identifying ash trees.

The most effective way to stop the EAB is to not move firewood. The beetle’s eggs and larvae tunnel into the trees they infest. Cutting a tree into firewood does not kill EAB developing inside of it. Adult beetles can still emerge, infesting healthy trees when they do.

Make sure your wood is from local sources. Don’t transport firewood; or carry it across county or state lines. Don’t move firewood from your property, and definitely don’t move wood out of quarantine areas. At many parks and campgrounds, firewood is sold on site. Some state parks will not even allow you to supply your own firewood.

When purchasing firewood, always ask about its origins, and if it is locally sourced. Burn your remaining supply of firewood before Spring arrives to eliminate the chance of spreading the beetle to live trees.

We need the help of everyone to minimize the impact of this pest: Federal and State government agencies, municipalities, universities, the green industry and and you. Here’s how you can help:

  • Read our fact sheet on identifying ash trees. Locate ash trees on or near your property. Ash trees are used extensively in residential and commercial landscaping, and are found naturally in woodlots, along creekbeds, and in low-lying wetlands.
  • Examine each tree for signs of infestations such as canopy dieback, epicormis shoots, S-shaped galleries, vertical bark slits and D-shaped exit holes.
  • If you observe beetles or evidence of EAB infestations, report your sighting to your State Plant Health Director.
  • If possible, take digital pictures of the insect and damage to your trees.

Report it now.