Emerald Ash Borer Beetles Found in Nebraska Forest

June 27, 2018 - 11:32am

An invasive beetle species, the Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB for short, has been found in Mahoney State Park near Ashland this month. A state entomologist confirmed the species after the Nebraska Department of Agriculture found EAB in a baited trap in the park.

After laying its eggs on the bark of trees, the EAB larvae hatch and begin to bore into the tree to feed. This creates a large gallery about the size of a soccer ball, eventually killing the tree. The insect lives in the tree, feeding all winter long until it's fully grown and ready to lay more eggs in the spring.

EAB can be devastating to forests. State Horticulturist, Mike Groenewold, said there are ways for the public to help prevent this invasive species from spreading in Nebraska.

“One of the best ways to limit the spread, like around Nebraska, is if our citizens remember not to move firewood. Particularly Ash, but really any hardwood species because they can harbor other invasive insects too,” Groenewold said.

EAB has been discovered in 33 states across the U.S. While they tend to spread slowly, the task of eliminating them from an area is practically impossible.

Groenewold and the Nebraska Game and Parks hope the spread of Emerald Ash Borer can be contained with the public’s help.

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