Two area counties are among 16 in Missouri with the recently discovered presence of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, the invasive tree-killing pest has been detected in 75 Counties including area counties Ozark and Douglas as well as the city of St. Louis.
EAB is a small, metallic green beetle native to Asia known to attack all species of ash trees, including Missouri’s native green ash and white ash. It was first detected in Missouri nearly 11 1/2 years ago.
In its larval stage, the insect kills ash trees by feeding on the vascular tissues just under the bark, slowly cutting off the trees’ flow of water and nutrients. The Department of Conservation reports EAB kills more than 99% of the ash trees it attacks.
EAB is expected to be found statewide within the next few years. Missourians with ash trees on their property are being urged to have their trees removed or have them treated with an insecticide. If an ash tree is removed, it should be disposed of locally to prevent the accidental spread of EAB to new locations. Information on recommended insecticides is available in the Department of Conservation’s EAB Management Guide for Missouri Homeowners.
EAB can also emerge from ash firewood and logs for up to two years after harvest. The Department of Conservation recommends buyers of firewood should purchase it where they plan to burn it.
Missourians are encouraged to report possible EAB infestations in counties where the pest has not yet been confirmed. Reports can be made by using the online form at eab.missouri.edu or by calling the toll-free Forest Pest Hotline at 1-866-716-9974.