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Wisconsin Tree Insect Control- Emerald Ash Borer Treatment

Emerald Ash Borer in Wisconsin

May 18-24 is Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week

Contact:      Donna Gilson, 608-224-5130,
                  Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020, 

MADISON - At least 20 Wisconsin counties now harbor emerald ash borer, the exotic insect that has decimated urban trees and forests in the eastern half of the nation.

Although we continue to detect EAB in new locations around the state, humans can help keep it from leapfrogging to whole new areas. They can slow down the spread, to give science time to find more and better controls, and give communities and landowners time to replace ash trees with species that are not susceptible to the pest.

To remind Wisconsinites that they have a role to play in the battle, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared May 18-24 Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week.  This particular week was chosen nationwide because
it includes Memorial Day weekend, the beginning of the summer tourism season, when the risk is high for people to move EAB and other pests to new areas inadvertently on firewood.

Brian Kuhn, director of the Plant Industry Bureau in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, notes that Wisconsin's forests include more than 765 million ash trees, and that an average of 20 percent of urban street trees in the state are ash. Losing those trees to EAB may impact air and water quality, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and property values, he said.

"Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week is an opportunity for the government to join with schools, businesses, industries, environmental groups, community organizations, tourist and citizens to take action against the spread of the EAB," Kuhn said.

In the past year, EAB has been found in seven new Wisconsin counties. Most of those new finds can likely be attributed to human actions, because they are in areas far from previous known infestations in southeastern and western Wisconsin. Some of them were at campgrounds or boat landings.

This summer, state and federal agencies will set more than 1,500 traps around Wisconsin to monitor for the presence of the EAB.

People can help slow the spread of EAB by: 

Since 2008, EAB infestations have been confirmed in Brown, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Douglas, Fond du Lac, Jefferson, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Sauk, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha and Winnebago counties. Those counties are under quarantine. Sheboygan County is also quarantined, because there are infestations close by in neighboring counties. The quarantine means that hardwood cannot be moved out of the counties without an agreement with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

EAB, native to Asia, attacks all species of North American ash trees. Since being discovered near Detroit in 2002, it has spread to 21 states and two Canadian provinces.

Wisconsin's EAB program is a cooperative effort of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA-Forest Service, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and UW-Extension. 


Emerald Ash Borer

  • Over 14 million ash trees already killed in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.
  • Emerald ash borer has been found in Wisconsin too.

The invasive and destructive Emerald Ash Borer was first discovered in Wisconsin August 2008. This invasive insect native to China has no natural predators in the United States and has spread across a multitude of states, killing millions of ash trees. Despite regulations on transportation of firewood and current methods to eliminating the insect, the Emerald Ash Borer has been found for the first time in Racine County late July 2011.

The metallic green beetle known for its destructive nature was found in three separate traps in northern Racine County. Department of Agriculture experts say this is unfortunate news, although not surprising. One of the traps is located one mile north of Oak Creek, a Milwaukee suburb infested with the ash tree killing insects. Emerald Ash Borers have been discovered in eight Wisconsin counties including Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Brown, Crawford, Vernon, Ozaukee, and Washington.

Wisconsin has taken further steps towards eliminating the Emerald Ash Borer by implementing biological methods to weaken the Emerald Ash Borer population in Wisconsin.

Emerald Ash Borer Facts

  • Affects all true ash trees (not mountain ash).
  • Causes decline and eventually death.
  • We recommend treatment of high value trees.
  • Treatment options include soil insecticide treatments, trunk sprays and trunk injections.
  • Treatments need to be done on an annual basis.

Key and valuable trees should be put onto a preventative treatment program.

An informative web site has recently been posted by the University of Wisconsin Department of Entomology.  This site includes information on Wisconsin's Approach; What To Look For; Potential EAB Look-A-Likes; Distinguish Between EAB And Other Ash Decline and Who To Contact should you suspect you have an EAB infestation.

Please visit: