Emerald Ash Borer traps installed to help stop spread of invasive insect

Published: Jun. 27, 2023 at 3:12 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - If you see purple objects hanging in the trees at state parks this summer, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture is installing traps to help stop the spread of Emerald Ash Borer.

The insect, which is blamed for killing ash trees, was detected in Moorhead this spring. Now, officials in Minnesota and North Dakota are closely monitoring the situation.

“It poses an enormous threat to our state,” said Plant Protection Specialist Scott Opatril. “About 70-percent of the trees in North Dakota are ash trees - green ash, so we stand to lose a lot.”

They say the traps will help determine if the bug has spread to North Dakota, and are critical to protecting the state’s beautiful ash trees.

Officials are hanging traps in trees at high-risk sites. They are covered in a sticky substance that catches flying insects; and each have a lure which contains a substance from ash trees in the hopes that the scent will attract the Emerald Ash Borers.

Opatril says the invasive insect can only travel short distances because they are so small. The problem is, people unknowingly spread the insect by transporting firewood from place to place.

The traps will remain up through the Emerald Ash Borer season, which goes through mid-July to August.