The Emerald Ash Borer Beetle


One of the most dangerous invasive species threatening Wisconsin and the rest of North America, is the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The EAB threatens the entire spectrum of Ash trees in North America. North-Central Wisconsin alone is the home of an estimated 770 million Ash trees that are threatened by this native of China. The loss of Ash trees from our ecosystem can result in larger numbers of invasive plants, effects on species that feed on Ash, and the potential for alteration in soil nutrients. What can be done? Wisconsin should rebuild it’s DNR, distribute information regarding outbreak areas and quarantines; this devastating insect should be part of Wisconsin’s public school curriculum, as Entomology joins the ranks of Gym, English, Algebra, etc. Attempts have been made to utilize biological control by introducing parasitoid species from China with mixed results. Wisconsin must begin planting other types of trees, like Elms, Maples, and Birches to enrich our forests, to provide balance in the absence of the Ash. Systemic pesticides can be effective for about one to three years depending on the product. Although trees that are cut down can be used for mulch, the EAB brings hefty financial challenges when it comes to large scale removal of trees in urban areas. Options exist to combat this highly destructive species, but Wisconsin must dedicate more resources to research ways and means to deter this danger.




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