The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), native to Asia, came to Detroit in the early 1990's in shipping material made from ash wood. The beetle is responsible for killing thousands of ash trees in the area before being identified in 2002. Since then it has spread to several states and parts of Canada in infested firewood and has caused the death of millions of ash trees.
The EAB was first detected in Marion County in 2006 and has established populations throughout Marion County. Thousands of ash trees in private property, parks and Rights-of-Way are already infested with EAB.
The adult EAB beetle is dark metallic green in color, 1/3" to 1/2" long and 1/16" wide. As boring insects, female EAB lay eggs in crevices of bark on ash tree trunks and branches.
Newly hatched larvae tunnel into the host trees and feed on vascular tissue beneath the bark. As a borer insect, the EAB lays its eggs on the outside bark of trees. After maturation, the adult beetle tunnels out and feeds on the host's leaves. While most borers target weakened or stressed host trees, the EAB also targets healthy ash trees.
Commonly regarded as beautiful and majestic, ash trees are routinely found across North America and can be found along many of the streets in Indianapolis neighborhoods.
Because the beetle is relatively small and the damage to the tree is mostly internal, the presence of the highly destructive insect is hard to detect until trees become damaged or die. Large ash trees can die in as few as 3 years. The EAB can kill smaller ash trees in about a year.
City residents with healthy, unaffected ash trees on their properties should consult a State-licensed pesticide applicator or qualified arborist for treatment options.
Purdue Extension has a program to help communities prepare for Emerald Ash Borer before the trees in their communities are beyond the point of repair. Neighbors Against Bad Bugs (NABB) helps to make communities aware of the extent of the problem to encourage communities to work together with tree care professionals to invest in their urban forest.
Please click here to view a message to homeowners from Purdue Extension Entomologist Dr. Cliff Sadof regarding proactive planning in addressing EAB.
For detailed information on EAB and what residents can do to help protect ash trees, visit here.
To view one of the EAB town hall meetings, please click here.