You never thought a small little bug could do so much damage, but this one does. And it’s beginning to worry the authorities from New Jersey. But first, introductions are in order: meet Emerald Ash Borer, the Ash Tree Killer.
The extent of the damage is quite unimaginable, yet the numbers don’t lie: 250 million trees dead. All because of this very intrusive beetle no larger than a penny.
What’s more worrying is that it’s not attacking trees in our very own Garden State. The New Jersey officials of the Department of Agriculture have reported on Monday that this pest has been attacking trees in five different cities stretching over three counties. That’s Hillsborough and Bridgewater in Somerset, Westampton from Burlington County, and two other cities in Mercer County, Ewing and West Windsor.
Where is this bug originally from? Well, his first victims seem to have been in the area somewhere between northern China, eastern Russia, Korea, and even Japan. In the U.S., it has done damage in Michigan, from where it has gone to Louisiana, Colorado, and Massachusetts.
Recent reports say that the beetle has made countless kills in Pennsylvania over the last few years.
How does it kill a tree so big? Find out that it doesn’t take more than one beetle to kill a single tree. As the name suggests, by boring into the tree where in lays eggs, the Ash Borer leaves the rest of the work to its children. These little wormy premature insects eat the tree from the inside out. In their way, they cut all supply of water and nutrients from the tree’s core and leave the upper part dead.
Yes, the image is disturbing.
Yet, there isn’t much in the way of tactics which could be adopted to fight this pest. Its best attribute is that it can fly ten miles at a time. It’s impossible to find if you try to look for it after finding a tree corpse.
The ash trees are a vital part of the forests of New Jersey, and if these go, then it’s very likely that the whole forest will eventually fade. This cannot be permitted to happen, and the officials are working together to devise a way of managing the insect’s so as to not to that much harm, since it cannot be fully stopped, the authorities say.
If you find D shaped holes in your ash trees then there is likely an infection going on there and you should hastily call the Department of Agriculture, which will handle it from there.
Image source: pri.org