Emerald Ash Borer
Agrilus planipennis Ledeb.
Emerald Ash Borer was first confirmed in Nebraska in 2016. It was confirmed in 2020 in Kearney, NE and in Hall County. See current EAB location map here. Learn more about EAB and what it means for your ash trees here. There are quarantines on the movement of certain wood products learn more here.
Also referred to as EAB, Emerald Ash Borers are wood boring insects with a one year lifecycle. They are metallic green with bronze on the head and under the elytra. About 13 mm long, indented along the elytra. Larvae are milky white with triangular segments. Adults lay eggs under the bark of ash trees. The larvae eat the tissues of the tree as they grow. Once they are mature the larvae exit the tree by boring a D shaped hole in the bark to escape. The D shaped exit hole is one way used to find an EAB infestation.
All species of Ash trees (Fraxinus spp.)
Location in Nebraska
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) first confirmed emerald ash borer (EAB) in Nebraska on June 6, 2016 during a site inspection in Omaha’s Pulaski Park. Nebraska became the 27th state to confirm the presence of EAB, joining neighboring states of Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado.
It is not recommended to chemically treat ash trees to prevent EAB unless the tree is located more than 15 miles of a confirmed EAB infestation (see map above). There is a limited number of times many trees can be chemically treated so waiting until you are in treatment area will maximize the amount of times you can treat a tree. Treatment is to kill EAB larvae and therefore it is recommended not to treat your tree until it shows signs of stress or it has been confirmed to have EAB. You can treat your tree with some damage and still save it. Treatment of an ash tree to prevent damage from the EAB is between March and mid-June Learn more here. This is due to the chemical treatment needing to be distributed throughout the tree at a specific time to kill EAB larvae.
Biological Control of EAB: There are 3 species of non-stinging wasp being released in Nebraska and many other states as a biological control learn more here. Nebraska USDA APHIS-PPQ, working in tandem with personnel from the USDA APHIS EAB Parasitoid Rearing Facility in Brighton, MI, identify the best sites according to program protocols for the release of the three approved EAB biological control agents: Tetrastichus plannipenis, Spathius galinae, and Oobius agrili in Nebraska. NE USDA APHIS-PPQ has released biological controls (stingless wasps) since 2019. Four Nebraska sites had EAB biocontrols released, 2 near Omaha and 2 in Western NE.
Top dieback and increased woodpecker damage. 1/8 inch D-shaped borer holes along the trunk. Suckering occurring at the base of the tree. Larval galleries under the bark. If you find a small D shaped hole or have an ash tree declining and want it inspected for emerald ash borer contact us on the report a sighting page. Download fact sheet here.
Pathway of Introduction and Spread
Originally introduced from Asia. First found in Michigan in 2002. Spreads through the movement of ash wood products and on vehicles from infested areas. There are state and federal quarantines in place to prevent the spread of EAB by preventing the transport of ash tree products. Y0u can learn more about national quarantines here.
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health