Emerald Ash Borer found in southwest Virginia

WASHINGTON COUNTY, VA (WJHL) - According to Abingdon Town Arborist Kevin Sigmon, the Emerald Ash Borer was officially trapped and identified in various sites in Washington and Smyth Counties in Virginia. 

The insect is an invasive species that has already killed tens of millions of ash trees in the continental United States. Emerald Ash Borers are expected to kill all untreated ash and native fringe trees in our region in 1 to 3 years. 

The insects have a metallic green color and are active from May to August in our area. They lay their eggs on the bark of ash trees and after hatching the larvae burrow inside the tree. As the larva feed, they disrupt the flow of food and water in the tree. 

It is important to treat the trees before they are affected. Any untreated ash or fringe tree is susceptible. 

There are several treatment options available but the most effective option is a trunk injection of emamectin benzoate. That treatment is effective for at least 2 years. 

The Virginia Department of Forestry currently has a grant available to homeowners, non-profits and municipalities to assist in the cost of these treatments. You can find that information here

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