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Sunday, May 25, 2008
It's purple, it's sticky, it hangs in trees and is intended to help state and federal officials find a cunningly deceptive creature, the emerald ash borer (EAB).
The Illinois Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), will use these purple traps in Illinois to look for EAB, an invasive pest that is deadly to ash trees. The beetle is small and stealth-like in its behavior patterns and is extremely difficult to detect. If not controlled, it threatens to devastate the entire ash species in North America.
The box-kite-looking purple traps will be hung in trees primarily in a 100-mile band on the outskirts of the last known southernmost infested site in Peru, Ill. The area essentially is a 100-mile wide arc that includes 49 counties across central and northwestern Illinois where approximately 2,700 of these traps will be placed. An additional 750 traps will be placed in the Chicagoland area and another 250 will be placed in southern Illinois at various high risk sites such as tree nurseries and campgrounds.
"It is important to note that these traps will not bring EAB to a non-infested site. They will simply let us know if the beetle is already there," Warren Goetsch, chief of the department's Bureau of Environmental Programs, said.
Department officials are asking for the public's cooperation in ensuring that these traps are left alone to "do their thing."
"We realize that these traps may be an eye-sore to some and a source of entertainment to others, but in order for these traps to work, they must be left alone," Goetsch said. "It's important that the public is aware of their purpose and helps us keep them in place."
First discovered in Illinois in June 2006, EAB has since been confirmed in communities within Kane, Cook, LaSalle and DuPage counties. A quarantine has been issued for the northeastern-most area of the state (see IL EAB QUARANTINE AREA below) in an attempt to prevent its spread.
EAB quarantine provision compliance is urged for all contractors and public works officials around the state, and especially those within the EAB quarantined area in all or parts of the 18 northeastern-most counties of the state.
The quarantine prohibits the removal of the following items from regulated areas:
- The emerald ash borer in any living stage of development.
- Ash trees of any size.
- Ash limbs and branches.
- Any cut, non-coniferous firewood.
- Bark from ash trees and wood chips larger than one inch from ash trees.
- Ash logs and lumber with either the bark or the outer one-inch of sapwood, or both, attached.
- Any item made from or containing the wood of the ash tree that is capable of spreading the emerald ash borer.
- Any other article, product or means of conveyance determined by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to present a risk of spreading the beetle infestation.
- waste haulers must cover regulated material from an infested area during transport through EAB flight season, which is from June through August.
Anyone convicted of moving prohibited items from the quarantine area without prior certification by an Illinois Department of Agriculture nursery inspector may be fined up to $500.
How the emerald ash borer arrived in Illinois is unknown, but the department suspects it may have been transported here in contaminated firewood. To avoid the accidental introduction of the beetle to new areas, the department encourages Illinoisans to purchase only locally-grown nursery stock and locally-cut firewood. Anyone who suspects a tree has been infested is urged to contact the department or their village forester for a consultation.
ILLINOIS EAB QUARANTINE AREA
The entire Counties of Boone, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry, Putnam, Will and Winnebago;
- The eastern portion of Ogle County described as follows:
- bounded on the north by the northern Ogle County line from Meridian Road to the eastern Ogle County line;
- bounded on the east by the eastern Ogle County line;
- bounded on the south by the southern Ogle County line from the eastern Ogle County line to Meridian Road; and
- bounded on the west by Meridian Road or its northern projection from the southern Ogle County line to the northern Ogle County line;
- The eastern portion of Lee County described as follows:
- bounded on the north by the northern Lee County line from Meridian Road to the eastern Lee County line;
- bounded on the east by the eastern Lee County line;
- bounded on the south by the southern Lee County line from the eastern Lee County line to the southerly projection of Meridian Road; and
- bounded on the west by Meridian Road or its southerly projection from the northern Lee County line to the southern Lee County line;
- The eastern portion of Bureau County described as follows:
- bounded on the north by the northern Bureau County line from Illinois Route 40 to the eastern Bureau County line;
- bounded on the east by the eastern Bureau County line;
- bounded on the south by the southern Bureau County line from the eastern Bureau County line to Illinois Route 40; and
- bounded on the west by Illinois Route 40;
- The northwestern portion of Livingston County described as follows:
- bounded on the north by the northern Livingston County line;
- bounded on the east by Interstate 55 from the northern Livingston County line to the intersection of Interstate 55 and Illinois Route 116;
- bounded on the south by Illinois Route 116 from the intersection of Interstate 55 and Illinois Route 116 to the western Livingston County line; and
- bounded on the west by the western Livingston County line.
The emerald ash borer is difficult to detect, especially in newly-infested trees. Citizens should watch for metallic-green beetles about half the diameter of a penny on or near ash trees that are showing signs of disease or stress. Other signs of infestation in ash trees include D-shaped holes in the bark of the trunk or branches and shoots growing from its base. Anyone who suspects a tree has been infested is urged to contact their county Extension office. For more information, visit www.IllinoisEAB.com on the internet.
Source: Illinois Department of Agriculture