Summer begins high risk period for invasive beetle species

May 28, 2012

Conservation agents are urging Missourians to not transport firewood in its effort to control the emerald ash borer from spreading throughout the state.

Missouri’s first emerald ash borer was found in Wayne County, in Southeast Missouri, in 2008. And it’s pretty well stayed put, which is good news for conservation agents.

Rob Lawrence is a forest entomologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation. He says efforts to slow its spread have been successful, but eradication remains elusive.

“They’s tried in other states to get completely rid of it once it gets into an area, and it’s just not possible because we don’t have real sensitive methods for detecting how far it spreads.”

The half-inch long shiny green beetle was accidentally introduced to Michigan back in the early 1990’s, and it has spread through the East and Midwest, demolishing ash trees along the way.