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Purple panel trap detects emerald ash borer near Louisville

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Written Thursday, August 07, 2008  

Emerald ash borer has been confirmed near the Floyd County community of Georgetown, Ind., just 14 miles northwest of Louisville.

The insect was detected on a purple panel trap, which is part of a detection survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

"The purple panel traps are proving very useful in finding this insect," Purdue University entomologist Jodie Ellis said. "The traps are alerting us to populations of emerald ash borer earlier in the process than previous methods allowed, which helps in preventing further spread."

Floyd is the 19th Indiana county to have a confirmed emerald ash borer infestation and is the first Indiana county south of Indianapolis.

"Most of the seemingly new infestations we're finding are actually several years old," Ellis said.

This latest find joins a recent string of detections, including one near a campground at Wappapello Lake in southern Missouri and another in the Wisconsin village of Newburg, about 32 miles north of Milwaukee.

"The infestation confirmed in Missouri was found in a purple panel trap, while in Wisconsin a citizen notified local officials about symptoms on his tree that he correctly assumed were caused by emerald ash borer," Ellis said. "Although the purple panel traps provide an efficient detection method, it is still vitally important that citizens know what to look for and stay alert."

Symptoms of an infested ash tree include dieback of leaves in the upper third of the canopy, vertical splits in the bark, D-shaped exit holes, S-shaped tunnels under the bark, heavy woodpecker activity and water sprouts at the base of the trunk.

"In addition to keeping an eye out for symptoms on ash trees, we continue emphasizing to citizens how important it is not to move firewood," Ellis said. "Most infestations are not a result of the natural movement of emerald ash borer, but rather because unsuspecting citizens have moved firewood."

For more information on symptoms of emerald ash borer, locations of infestations and other resources, go online to http://www.entm.purdue.edu/eab . To report an infestation, call the Indiana DNR's toll-free hotline at (866) NO EXOTIC (663-9684). Other questions may be directed to Ellis at (765) 494-0822, ellisj@purdue.edu .

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