Managing Emerald Ash Borer: An Update


An emerald ash borer (EAB) program report was released last week from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Here are some highlights:

  • A proposal to remove the EAB domestic quarantine regulations is still awaiting its final rule. Published in September of 2018, the open comment period ended in November 2018 and comments and information are being reviewed. In keeping with USDA’s goal of reducing regulations that have outlived their usefulness, the proposal would end APHIS’ domestic regulatory activities, which includes actions such as—issuing permits, certificates, and compliance agreements; making site visits; and conducting investigations of suspected violations—and instead direct all available resources toward managing the pest (discussed below). Thirty-five states currently have at least some portion of their area under federal quarantine boundaries. Colorado’s Broomfield County is one of the latest additions. For a map of quarantine areas, click here.
    Tetrastichus drills through the bark to lay eggs inside EAB larvae. Photo: Jonathan Lelito. Courtesy of USDA.


  • USDA is using natural enemies of the emerald ash borer to serve as biocontrol agents—the tiny stingless wasps are showing promise in a number of states, especially in terms of protecting young saplings. During the 2020 season, 578,803 parasitoids (such as tetrastichus planipennisi) were released in 31 new counties, bringing the total to 340 counties in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Parasitoids have established in at least 22 states. The rearing facility is able to produce about 750,000 parasitoids per year, and more than eight million parasitoids have been released to date.
  • To learn how to debark ash tree logs to look for EAB larvae or other signs of infestation, APHIS has produced a helpful video. For other information, visit APHIS’ EAB Program webpage. For questions, call 1-866-322-4512 or email