Emerald Ash Borer

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Invasive Pest Outreach Information 

Emerald Ash Borer Found in Vermont; Considerations for Maine


On February 27, 2018, authorities of the State of Vermont announced that the first evidence of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) was confirmed in their state.  The discovery was made by a private consulting forester who noticed tell-tale woodpecker activity, known as blonding, on ash trees in a private forest.  

He further investigated the affected trees by pulling back the loose bark.  He saw the characteristic S-shaped galleries made by emerald ash borer larvae and took pictures of it.  He then submitted a report and uploaded the photos through the VT Invasives online report form.  Authorities on the receiving end saw the photos and immediately went to the area to investigate.  In order to declare a first find of such an important pest, examples of the actual insect need to be submitted to a National Identifier at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  They submitted emerald ash borer larvae that they were able to extract from the tree.

Points to ponder:

  1. The find was made by a private citizen who had been to a talk or a training about emerald ash borer and learned to recognize signs of an infestation.
  2. The citizen took good pictures of the suspect infestation and knew where to submit the report.
  3. The find was made during a time of year when adult beetles are not active (in fact, not even “formed” yet).
  4. The find was made in an area that one would not consider high risk (high risk areas for emerald ash borer introductions are near camps, campgrounds, industrial parks, along major transportation corridors, etc.).
  5. The area where it was found did not border any quarantined area, thus dismissing natural spread as the cause of the introduction.

Emerald ash borer is now found in 32 states, but has still not been confirmed in Maine.

It is important to find emerald ash borer when the infestation is young to provide the most options for management.

From the facts of the find in Vermont, emerald ash borer can be found anywhere, by anyone, and at any time of the year.

Woodpecker feeding signs highlight an emerald ash borer infested tree. (C. Donahue, MFS)

Please familiarize yourself with the signs of an emerald ash borer infestation.  Now is a great time of year to look for blonding on ash trees (photo on left).

If you suspect you have seen signs of emerald ash borer in Maine, please take pictures and make a report.  

Go to www.maine.gov/eab to learn more about the emerald ash borer, including where it is, what it looks like, what communities can do to prepare, and most importantly, what you can do to help detect and report it.

Thank you for your vigilance in protecting Maine’s trees.

Sincerely, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Questions/Comments? Contact us! 
Email: bugwatchME.agr@maine.gov
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