The Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic wood boring beetle that originated in Asia and attacks ash trees. This invasive pest arrived in the United States in 2002, where it was first discovered near Detroit. Since then the beetle has spread to 33 states and several Canadian provinces.
The adult beetles are small and metallic green, and lay eggs on the bark of ash trees. After the eggs hatch, the larvae bore into the bark and feed on the transportation tissues of the tree. This causes a disruption in the movement of nutrients and water within the tree, girdling it and resulting in the death of the ash tree.
Ash trees that get infested with Emerald Ash Borers have no natural defenses to the insect and will die within a few years of the initial attack. Since its discovery in 2002, the Emerald Ash Borer has caused the death of tens of millions of trees in the United States.
The U.S. Forest Service estimates that Emerald Ash Borers will cost homeowners, businesses, and municipalities more than $10 billion by 2019.
Emerald Ash Borers move quickly through communities and cause significant devastation to ash tree populations. With 87,000 ash trees in the Sioux Falls area, the insect is expected to fully spread across the Sioux Falls area in the next 10 to 12 years.