Traps Set Out to Track Spread of the Emerald Ash Borer


April 28, 2011

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Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer
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Glue traps will be hung in ash trees across Fairfax County to detect the emerald ash borer, an insect that kills these trees. The large, purple traps will help to monitor this pest’s presence in the county.

Officials ask the public to report traps that have fallen to the ground, and they advise not to touch them since they are covered with extremely sticky glue. Call the Fairfax County Forest Pest Branch at 703-324-5541, TTY 711, to report fallen traps or to permit traps to be put on private property.

Unless there is an infestation in an area already, the traps won’t bring the insect to locations where they are hung. Approximately 500 traps will be placed across the county as part of a statewide effort to track the insect.

County and state officials will monitor the traps regularly to check for emerald ash borers. The traps allow this pest to be found without damaging trees. Otherwise, arborists must cut away an ash tree’s bark to find the insects.

The triangular traps are non-toxic. They don’t contain pesticides or chemicals. To catch the insects, however, the traps are baited with natural plant oils and covered with non-toxic glue.

To date, this pest has been found in Arlington, Fairfax, Frederick and Prince William counties. To prevent this pest from spreading to other parts of Virginia, state and federal quarantines ban the transport of firewood out of Northern Virginia. The quarantine covers:

  • Fairfax County
  • Arlington County
  • Clark County
  • Fauquier County
  • Frederick County
  • Loudoun County
  • Prince William County
  • cities of Alexandria, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park and Winchester.

However, firewood may be transported within the quarantined areas.

When camping outside quarantined areas, use firewood from local sources, instead of transporting it.

Emerald ash borers have killed more than 25 million ash trees in the U.S.The borers are native to Asia, and they probably first arrived in this country in the 1990s.

For more information about the trapping program, call the Fairfax County Forest Pest Branch at 703-324-5541, TTY 711.


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