Illinois Department of Agriculture Confirms 14 new counties infested with Emerald Ash Borer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive pest responsible for killing millions of ash trees in North America, has been confirmed in 14 new counties, including five that are located outside the current state quarantine zone intended to prevent the spread of the beetle.

“The quarantine boundaries obviously will have to be amended to include the new detections in Logan, Menard, Perry, Sangamon and Williamson counties,  as well as two other counties outside the quarantine, Peoria and Tazewell, where EAB was detected for the first time earlier this year,” Warren Goetsch, Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau Chief of Environmental Programs, said.  “We will do that after all of our findings are in, which should be by November.”

The new discoveries were made by Illinois Department of Agriculture employees as they retrieved and analyzed the many purple traps the department placed across the state to detect the presence of the tiny beetle, which is known for its distinctive, metallic green, wing color.

  • In Logan County, the ash borer was found on North St. in Atlanta.
  • In Menard, it was discovered at Deerpath Lane and Oakland Ave. in Petersburg.
  • The Perry County find was made on Reed Rd. in Du Quoin.
  • In Sangamon County, the trap was located in an ash tree on Reynolds St. near Douglas Park.
  • And, in Williamson County, it was detected on McDonald St. in Marion.

The EAB traps also led to new confirmations in eight counties within the quarantine.  Those counties are Coles, Douglas, Ford, Marshall, Piatt, Shelby, Warren and Woodford.  An additional detection was made in Edgar County by an Eastern Illinois University professor and later confirmed through samples collected by IDOA staff.

Newly-infested counties are encouraged to begin putting the quarantine restrictions into practice. 

“Residents, businesses and municipalities should familiarize themselves with the regulations in anticipation of being included in the quarantine,” EAB program manager Scott Schirmer said.  “I would recommend they study management options as well to help establish plans and budgets for addressing their infestations.”

The emerald ash borer is native to Asia.  Its larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die.  Since the first detection of the pest near Detroit, Mich., in 2002, it has killed more than 250 million ash trees.

The tiny beetle often is difficult to detect, especially in newly-infested trees.  Signs of infestation include thinning and yellowing leaves, D-shaped holes in the bark of the trunk or branches and basal shoots.Anyone who suspects an ash tree has been infested should contact their county Extension office, their village forester or the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

The state quarantine currently includes 49 Illinois counties and is intended to prevent the artificial or “human-assisted” spread of the beetle through the movement of potentially-infested wood and nursery stock.  Specifically, it prohibits the removal of the following items:

  • The emerald ash borer in any living stage of development.
  • Ash trees of any size.
  • Ash limbs and branches.
  • Any cut, non-coniferous firewood.
  • Bark from ash trees and wood chips larger than one inch from ash trees.
  • Ash logs and lumber with either the bark or the outer one-inch of sapwood, or both, attached.
  • Any item made from or containing the wood of the ash tree that is capable of spreading the emerald ash borer.
  • Any other article, product or means of conveyance determined by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to present a risk of spreading the beetle infestation.

The counties currently under quarantine are Boone, Bureau, Champaign, Carroll, Clark, Coles, Cook, Cumberland, DeKalb, DeWitt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Marion, Marshall, McHenry, McLean, Mercer, Moultrie, Ogle, Piatt, Putnam, Rock Island, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Vermilion, Warren, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford.

For further information about the beetle, on the internet.