The federally regulated insect pest of Ash Trees, the Emerald Ash Borer, has been found in Union Parish. Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain says the pest originates in Asia and was first found in the U.S. in 2002 and is now in four Louisiana parishes. He says the main way Emerald Ash Borer is transmitted is by the moving of firewood.
“You’re not to move firewood basically more than 10 miles from where you buy it or where you harvest it, it is where you burn it.”
The United States Forestry Service identified the invasive pest and over 470 traps to catch the insect have been installed. Strain says the emerald Ash Borer doesn’t attack hardwoods or pine trees.
“The Emerald Ash Borer affects mainly ash trees which are found in the Atchafalaya Basin, as well as, the Mississippi River Delta, as well, in many urban setting because of their aesthetic appeal.”
The Emerald Ash Borer is now in Union, Bossier, Claiborne, and Webster Parishes and a quarantine is in place. Strain says you can lose an entire forest of ash trees in 10 years, because of the pest. He says they’re working with the LSU Ag Center and USDA to control the bug.
“More than 20,000 wasps have been put out in hopes that they will begin eating the Emerald Ash Borer, so we are using a biological control.”