Emerald Ash Borer Strikes Again
This large green insect that looks part beetle and part grasshopper is wreaking havoc in parks throughout Illinois, and the territory of this bug is enlarging throughout the U.S. The borer digs holes, about the size of a quarter and D-shaped, into the trunks of trees. By the time the holes are noticeable, it’s too late for the tree.
Officials in Illinois want the public to become informed. Dying trees are a problem for everyone, as they impact enjoyment of the parks, habitat for other creatures, and the tourism industry in Illinois. Plus, this insect invasion is likely to spread beyond the Midwestern U.S.
The Decatur Park district reports that they will lose up to one in four trees this year. This is the worst year yet, and the borer has only been in this neck of the woods for three years.
The ash borer, or Agrilus planipennis, is a somewhat exotic creature who first appeared in the Midwest in 2002, near Detroit. The adult beetles don’t cause any damage as they diligently feed off the ash tree leaves, but the larvae burrow inside the wood, inflicting devastation to trees by disrupting how nutrients and water are transported. The bug probably originally traveled via wooden shipping boxes from the Asian continent. Since their first appearance, they have killed tens of millions of ash trees in Michigan.