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Emerald Ash Borer Found in Union Parish

May 18, 2016

Emerald Ash Borer Found in Union Parish

Baton Rouge, La. (May 18, 2016) – Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a federally regulated insect pest of ash trees, has been confirmed in Union Parish making it the fourth parish in Louisiana to have EAB.  EAB is a native insect of Asia.  It was discovered in Michigan in 2002 and is now in 25 states, including Louisiana. EAB is a serious pest to all types of ash trees and the white fringetree, but does not attack other hardwoods or pine.


On April 28, 2016, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) notified the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry (LDAF) of the confirmation.  The identified specimen was trapped by the United States Forestry Service (USFS) which along with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), LDAF Forestry Division, and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine (APHIS PPQ) comprise the agencies that are trapping for EAB statewide.  The four agencies have a total of more than 470 EAB traps deployed throughout the state.


In addition to the trapping and survey program, the LSU AgCenter and USFS began a biocontrol release program early last year to aid in the control of EAB.  The USDA funds a program to rear tiny non-stinging wasps that, when released, aid in the control of EAB.

Dr. Rodrigo Diaz, LSU AgCenter entomologist and USFS employees made releases last year and will make additional releases this year.  The releases will be made at two or three sites in northeastern Louisiana with more than 20,000 parasitoid wasps being released.


Currently, a quarantine is in place for EAB in Bossier, Claiborne, and Webster Parishes.  Quarantine restrictions in Union Parish are pending at this time. The quarantine limits the movement of raw ash products to areas outside of the quarantine unless treated according to USDA requirements.  Such treatments include but are not limited to fumigation, heat treatment, and chipping. Ash nursery stock is prohibited from being moved outside of EAB quarantine areas as there are no acceptable treatments for nursery stock.

Louisiana’s ash trees are primarily located along the Atchafalaya Basin and the Mississippi River Delta with many ash trees also planted in urban settings.


“Ash trees are commonly planted in urban areas because of their aesthetic appeal,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “It can be a costly effort to remove these trees when the EAB beetle attacks them.”


LDAF continues its “Don’t Move Firewood” campaign which is geared toward educating people about the risks of transporting pests to other locations where some can do harm. It is best to purchase firewood not more than 10 miles from where it will be burned.  When traveling, burn firewood where you purchased it and make sure to burn all of it.