Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

What Is an Emerald Ash Borer?
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a small, metallic green, non-native invasive pest whose larvae feast on the trunks of ash trees thereby cutting off their ability to transport nutrients and ultimately causing the tree’s decline. Ash trees can be infested with EABs for a few years before the tree begins to demonstrate any signs of EAB infestation. Symptoms of EAB include canopy dieback, D-shaped exit holes, shoots sprouting from the tree trunks and s-shaped larval galleries underneath the bark.
An Emerald Ash Borer perched on a leaf

Tree Treatment Options

Ash tree owners may ask about treatment options in order to avoid removing their trees; however the only guaranteed method to control Emerald Ash Borer is to remove the host tree(s). When considering usage of insecticidal control, 1 should weigh the value of the tree against the cost of treatment. “The Illinois Department of Agriculture certainly supports a tree owner’s right to determine for themselves whether a pesticide treatment is appropriate in their specific circumstance,” Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau Manager of Environmental Programs Warren Goetsch said. “Tree owners are encouraged to thoroughly research the various treatment options currently available and carefully weigh the costs associated with the required repeated treatments. Please be advised, however, that treatment of an ash tree will not guarantee that a specific tree might eventually be required to be removed.”

Tree Removal

Under the provisions of the State of Illinois’ Insect Pest and Plant Disease Act, as well as the Nuisance Declaration issued in July 2006, the state has the authority to order the removal of any tree infested with the Emerald Ash Borer, regardless of whether it has been previously treated with a pesticide or not. The state has not exercised this authority to date, as all Emerald Ash Borer-related tree removals have been done on a voluntary basis.

Current Infestations

EAB was 1st discovered in Illinois in June 2006, in the Windings near Lily Lake in Kane County. The Illinois Department of Agriculture has since confirmed EAB infestations in several communities within Kane, Cook, DuPage, LaSalle Will and most recently McHenry counties and has issued a quarantine affecting all or parts of 2one of the northeastern-most counties of the state As part of a cooperative agreement with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), IDA is responsible for EAB survey, control / eradication and outreach.

EAB was 1st discovered in North America in 2002 in the Detroit and Ontario areas. Since then, it is estimated that approximately 25 million ash trees in North America have been felled due to EAB. A computerized inventory of all parkway and public property trees indicates that the Village of Itasca has approximately 860 ash trees which make up an estimated 18% of the Village’s total canopy.

Fortunately, as a Tree City USA community, Itasca practiced planting a variety of species to avoid a major devastation of the community’s canopy. As a proactive measure to limit the possible damage from an EAB infestation, the Village of Itasca began assessing; culling and removing stressed and damaged ash trees in 2006. Village staff members will respond promptly to suspect sighting of EAB. It is very important for area residents to be aware and vigilant in inspecting their ash trees for this pest. If you suspect you may have found adult or larval form of this insect, contact the Itasca Public Works Department, at 630-773-2455, or email digital photos to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Additional Information

Additional information can be obtained by visiting the following links: