The Emerald Ash Borer- an Invasive Insect

Extension Associate Mark Whitmore studies the Emerald Ash Borer. The Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), commonly referred to as “EAB”, is an invasive wood-boring beetle. Native to Asia, the beetle’s first North American populations were confirmed in the summer of 2002 in southeast Michigan and in Windsor, Ontario. EAB was likely introduced to the area in the mid-1990’s in ash wood used for shipping pallets and packing materials in cargo ships or shipping containers. Emerald Ash Borers feed on and eventually kill all native ash trees (Fraxinus spp.). Slowing their spread is imperative.

Since its introduction into North America, EAB has spread into 15 states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin) and two Canadian provinces; Ontario and Quebec. EAB was first confirmed in New York in June 2009 near Randolph, in western Cattaraugus County.

The natural spread of EAB infestations in North America is about 2 miles per year, depending on the infestation intensity. However, the rapid spread of the beetle through North America is most likely due to the transport of infested firewood, ash nursery stock, unprocessed ash logs, and other ash products. In an effort to slow the continued spread of EAB, both Federal and State agencies have instituted quarantines of infested areas to regulate the transport of ash products.

Recent News Coverage Video on EAB

New York State Invasive Species Website Related to EAB

DNR in the news: Rapid response

Check out the link below! It indicates an area where DNR is taking the lead on a rapid response to a potential environmental disaster on Cayuga Lake and the other Finger Lakes and Great Lakes to which Cayuga Lake is connected. DNR SEA and NYS Invasive Species Institute Coordinator Holly Menninger is leading an effort to respond to the local Hydrilla infestation, hopefully nipping it in the bud before it spreads throughout the lake and beyond. Holly is trying to garner DEC and other support for this effort.


Holly Menninger, coordinator of the NY Invasive Species Research Institute located within DNR, has been integrally involved in coordinating a rapid response to the newly detected hydrilla infestation in the Cayuga Inlet.  Hydrilla, considered one of the most aggressive invasive aquatic plants in the world, had not previously been found in Upstate New York, and there is serious concern that it will spread into Cayuga Lake and lakes in the region.


Recently, the work of DNR SEA and NYS EDEN Director Keith Tidball is doing in response to Hurricane Irene and flooding in NYS has been noticed by many across NYS, particularly in CCE and Ag & Markets.