Emerald Ash Borer flight season ends

Ash Borer
EAB found in Grand Isle, Vt. Photo provided

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Sept. 30 marked the end of flight season for Emerald Ash Borer, the invasive insect discovered in Vermont in 2018, and with a recent detection in the town of Londonderry, it has now been confirmed in eight counties. While EAB has gone dormant for the year and is no longer actively seeking new host trees until the spring, it is essential that Vermonters follow the “Slow the Spread” recommendations developed by state forest health officials to avoid inadvertently spreading EAB in firewood to uninfested areas. Though there are detections in eight counties, visibly infested trees still remain rare in Vermont. It is very common for EAB to be unknowingly moved on untreated firewood, which is why utmost care is required.

Ash firewood harvested within the infested zone must stay within the infested zone unless it is heat-treated or debarked to kill EAB. With firewood deliveries actively occurring across the state, it is essential that producers and purchasers of firewood understand how to transport it in the lowest risk manner. EAB can survive in all forms of untreated ash for over a year, even air-dried firewood.

Movement of visibly infested ash that is not in compliance with the “Slow the Spread” recommendations can be subject to enforcement action from the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. If you find that you have infested ash firewood in any form, please contact the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation for assistance with a disposal method that will not contribute to the spread of EAB.

Federal and state laws regulate the movement of firewood between Vermont and other states. Untreated firewood may not be imported into Vermont or exported to many nearby states, including New Hampshire, New York, or Maine.

EAB overwinter as larvae under the bark of ash trees where they feed on the inner bark tissue. Once infested, ash trees rapidly decline and most are killed in three to five years. This pest is established in 35 states and five Canadian provinces, and is responsible for widespread decline and mortality of hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America.

For Slow the Spread recommendations and a current map of the infested areas, visit www.vtinvasives.org.

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