Did the polar vortex wipe out the Emerald Ash Borer?

A number of stories that were recently published suggested that Emerald Ash Borer has suffered a devastating blow due to the polar vortex. The rare frigid temperatures have a lot of people assuming that the fight against EAB is close to being won. That assumption would be incorrect according to an article recently posted on the USDA Forest Service website.

Emerald ash borer was first discovered in the Detroit area in 2002. It was believed that the bug was shipped over in shipping crates from China, its county of origin.

EAB larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves water and sugars up and down the trunk. Millions of ash trees both in Canada and the United States have been completely decimated.

So did the polar vortex do anything to stop the spread of EAB? The answer is yes. According to a recent study from the USDA Forest Service, nearly 70 percent of Emerald Ash Borers have been killed off by the frigid temperatures. Unfortunately, that still leaves 30 percent of the destructive pest still alive and ready to wreak havoc.

The USDA urges everyone to be vigilant to limit EAB’s spread by immediately removing, ( by either burning or chipping ) any infested wood material, especially ash firewood, logs, and pruning debris that died due to EAB. They also recommend having Ash trees treated by an arborist before they are infected by invasive pest.