Ash borer a looming threat to Vermont's forests

Martin is concerned that Vermonters need to be more educated and get serious about the Asian insect invader.

The Middlebury trap is one of hundreds being set by the state.

The purple, three-sided traps resembling a box kite; they can be seen hanging in ash trees throughout Vermont as part of a surveillance program be conducted by federal and state agencies, Martin noted.

Martin also noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture are the partners involved in the EAB survey.

The Monteregie region of Quebec, Canada, is the nearest infestation zone to Vermont. However, EAB has not been detected in Vermont-at least, not yet. Martin thinks its arrival is a matter of time.

According to Jon Turmel, Vermont state entomologist, "The traps being placed around Vermont will help us discover if we have EAB in Vermont early on which allows us to address this invasive pest immediately. Early detection is the best tool we have to fight EAB. The ash tree is a very important natural resource in our state and we want to do everything we can to protect our trees. These traps will be placed in ash trees in all counties and at high risk sites, such as campgrounds, sawmills, recreational areas, major transportation arteries, etc."

Turmel said the purple traps are first smeared with a glue; next, they are baited with a bio lure. The funky purple color attracts EAB's vision plus are easy for humans to see among all the green foliage.

These traps will be monitored and remain in place throughout the summer during the beetles' flight season. Results from the trapping will be available to the public when the traps are removed later this summer, according to Turmel.

Check It Out: If you see a purple trap on the ground, call the USDA's toll-free number: 1-866-322-4512. The EAB hotline is staffed during regular business hours and a message may be left at any time. Callers are asked to include a name and telephone number.

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