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EMERALD ASH BORER FOUND IN TWO NEW COUNTIES IN CONNECTICUT, HARTFORD AND LITCHFIELD

August 9, 2013 Charlie Leigus

Forester’s Note: A public hearing on the expansion of the existing EAB quarantine to Fairfield, Litchfield, and Hartford Counties will be held at the Prospect Town Hall at 7PM on Wednesday, August 28, 2013.

Emerald Ash Borer Collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Haven, CT – The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) announced today that the emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis) has been detected in two additional Connecticut counties – Hartford and Litchfield – in the towns of Southington and Watertown on July 29 and August 1, 2013, respectively. This invasive insect has now been found in four Connecticut counties and fifteen towns. The identification of EAB in Southington and Watertown has been confirmed by the federal regulatory officials in the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA-APHIS-PPQ). The Watertown detection was made through the Experiment Station’s Cerceris wasp biosurveillance program and the Southington detection was through the purple prism trap program run by the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System.

In Connecticut, a quarantine was previously established that regulates the movement of ash logs, ash materials, ash nursery stock, and hardwood firewood from within New Haven County to any area outside of that county. The New Haven County quarantine mirrors a federal quarantine also imposed on New Haven County. The Hartford and Litchfield detection, in addition to the earlier Fairfield County detection in Sherman, CT will result in the expansion of the state and federal quarantines in Connecticut. The emerald ash borer is responsible for the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees and has been detected in 20 states from Kansas and Michigan to New Hampshire and south to North Carolina. Ash makes up about 4% to 15% of Connecticut’s forests and is a common urban tree.

In Connecticut, the insects were previously confirmed in Prospect, Naugatuck, Bethany, Beacon Falls, Waterbury, Cheshire, Oxford, Middlebury, Hamden, North Branford, and Southbury, all in New Haven County, and Sherman in Fairfield County as part of surveys conducted by CAES, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the U.S. Forest Service, and the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension via an agreement with USDA APHIS PPQ in joint efforts to detect the presence of EAB in the state or determine the extent of the current New Haven County infestation. More recently, EAB has also been detected in Newtown, CT. EAB has also been identified in Dutchess County, New York, Berkshire County, Massachusetts and Merrimack County, New Hampshire.

A single specimen of EAB was recovered in Watertown by a burrow of the ground-nesting, native wasp (Cerceris fumipennis), which hunts beetles in the family Buprestidae, including the emerald ash borer. The wasp is an efficient and effective “biosurveillance” survey tool and does not sting people or pets. Another single specimen of EAB was detected in a purple prism trap in Southington. There are 307 purple prism detection traps set across the state, excluding New Haven County, by the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System. The EAB surveillance program is supported by the USDA-APHIS-PPQ.

“These latest detections are largely near or adjacent to our known infestations and most are likely part of the original New Haven infestation. Nevertheless, we are seeing more and more of our ash trees at risk.” said State Entomologist Kirby C. Stafford III. “Not moving firewood or ash still remains one of the best ways to help slow the spread of EAB.”

“It is disturbing to see the spread of EAB to two new Connecticut counties and reinforces the need to curb its spread by preventing the movement of wood products out of affected areas,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty. “We will continue to work closely with The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the Department of Transportation, and other state and local agencies to limit the spread of EAB and minimize the impact this invasive beetle will have on Connecticut’s ash trees.”

Regulations are also in effect regulating the movement of firewood from out-of-state into Connecticut or within Connecticut, including the requirement of a permit to bring out-of-state firewood into Connecticut. These regulations were put in place to ensure that EAB and other invasive insects arenot carried into Connecticut, or spread throughout New England, through the movement of firewood.

PRESS RELEASE

Friday, August 9, 2013

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Dr. Kirby C. Stafford III, Ph.D. Dr. Victoria L. Smith

Acting Director, Vice Director, State Entomologist Deputy State Entomologist

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

123 Huntington Street (zip 06511) 123 Huntington Street (zip 06511)

P.O. Box 1106 P.O. Box 1106

New Haven, CT 06504 New Haven, CT 06504

Phone: (203) 974-8485 Phone: (203) 974-8474

Email: Kirby.Stafford@ct.gov Email: Victoria.Smith@ct.gov ‘