Monitoring for Emerald Ash Borer Insect

Charlottetown Monitoring for Destructive Emerald Ash Borer Insect
Posted on 06/15/2020
Emerald ash borer, a non-native and invasive insect that kills ash trees, has moved into Atlantic Canada. The City of Charlottetown is monitoring for the likely arrival of the destructive pest.

The City has partnered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to install traps in eight locations throughout Charlottetown to monitor for the insect. The traps, which are being placed on City property, are suspended high in the ash tree canopy. They do not contain any pesticides, and residents are asked not to disturb the traps.

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is a jewel beetle that feeds on the trees. It has killed tens of millions of ash trees and continues to spread into new areas throughout North America. It causes considerable economic and ecological impacts through the need for both tree removal programs and management programs. EAB was first confirmed in Canada when it was detected in Windsor, Ontario in 2002. Since then, it has spread to more locations in Ontario and was detected in Quebec in 2008. In 2017, it was detected in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Most recently, EAB has been detected in New Brunswick.

To date, the insect has not been found on PEI, but the monitoring program is the first line of defense against its impending arrival. EAB causes about a 99 per cent mortality rate in ash trees. The earlier EAB is detected, the better prepared the City can be to manage the outbreak.

There are approximately 313 ash trees in the City’s street tree inventory. City staff have begun monitoring the ash for symptoms and signs of stress and this work will continue over the summer.

To assist in the prevention of the spread of EAB, the public is reminded not to move firewood. Firewood is one of the highest risk pathways for moving insects, pests, and diseases. The public is asked to use the “Burn it Where you Buy it” philosophy, which involves buying campfire wood near the campsite being visited and leaving behind any wood not burned. If purchasing wood to heat a home or cottage, the wood should be sourced as close to the residence as possible.

As prevention and monitoring efforts continue, the City will work with stakeholders and partners on PEI and in other municipalities on detection, public education, and the development of a management plan.

More information on the Emerald ash borer can be found by visiting Environment and Sustainability or http://www.emeraldashborer.info/ and http://www.inspection.gc.ca/plants/plant-pests-invasive-species/insects/emerald-ash-borer/eng/1337273882117/1337273975030