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Invasive beetle has been detected in Coshocton County

| July 8, 2015

COSHOCTON – By now, most people have heard about Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This invasive beetle was originally found in Asia, but has been a pest in North America since 2002. It was detected in Coshocton County in December of 2013.

Unlike our native borer beetles, which will infest stressed and/or dying trees, EAB will infest healthy ash trees and kill them within two to four years. Adult beetles are only about a half inch long and are metallic green in color. Each female will lay 30 – 60 eggs in the crevices or under bark flaps of ash trees in trunks or branches. Eggs hatch within a week to ten days and the larvae will start to chew their way into the phloem and cambium. This is detrimental to the tree because this is how the tree moves food and water to supply nutrients to live. The larvae will continue to feed on the phloem for several weeks, creating S-shaped galleries until it is ready to pupate – usually in autumn. The adults will emerge the following spring (usually in May), leaving small, D-shaped holes about 1/8”.

Symptoms of EAB in ash trees include: a thinning canopy and top die-back; shoots coming up from the main trunk or base of the tree; heavy woodpecker activity – particularly in winter; and thin vertical splits in the bark. Definitive signs are D-shaped emergence holes, serpentine (S-shaped) galleries tunneled just beneath the bark and legless, cream-colored larvae that resemble tapeworms found just beneath the bark.

If you are interested in seeing infested ash trees, several of the ash trees in the parking lot at Buehler’s Food Market on South Second Street are exhibiting these symptoms. Buehler’s management has been gracious enough to allow OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers the opportunity to post signs to educate the public on this invasive pest.  If you have additional questions visit http://www.agri.ohio.gov/eab or contact your local OSU Extension office at 740-622-2265.

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