An infestation of epic proportions is headed straight for the Tri-States.
The Emerald Ash Borer is a small metallic green insect measuring about 1/2?? long and 1/8?? wide. It is native to Asia but was first confirmed in the U.S. back in 2002 in Southeast Michigan and Windsor Ontario. Since then it's traveled hundreds of miles south, destroying millions of trees in its wake.
It is now been found in 20 states and two Canadian Provinces.
Even though the adult emerald ash borer only travels five to six miles a year they've gotten to the Midwest in a hurry. The insects were last confirmed in Burlington, Iowa this summer.
How are they traveling?
"The biggest reason the adult emerald ash borers are spreading so fast is through firewood," Todd Friye, President of Bergman Nurseries said. "But remember they also fly, so they can land on a truck and ride several miles before flying off. They can get around pretty fast."
Click here to watch why the spread is happening so fast from KHQA This Morning.
Once an emerald Ash Borer makes it to your tree, it feeds on the leaves. However, that's not the worst part. In the fall, the bug lays its eggs into the tree bark. Those larvae hatch and end up intercepting and blocking nutrients from the roots to the rest of the tree. It's a death sentence for every ash tree in their path.
The devastation will be here soon. That's why arborists and nursery specialists like Friye are looking to protect the trees we do have before its too late.
Click here to hear about the devastation.
Homeowners have a couple of options on how to treat their ash tree from the emerald ash borer. The question is whether you should protect your particular tree.
"The homeowner needs to look at the tree itself," Friye said. "What is the overall health of the tree? Where is the location of the ash tree; how big is it? All this has to be evaluated to determine what the value of that tree is."
If you decide to save your ash tree, you can treat with a number of different chemicals yourself. Or you can hire a professional who can administer insecticide to your ash tree via a "tree IV."
"The system that we use is actually injected into the trunk of the tree, there is no chemical poured onto the ground," Friye said.
That treatment is 98 percent effective, protecting one of the area's most common trees, from a destructive and unwelcome invader. Click here to watch how the pros protect your ash tree.
Insecticide options include:
Homeowners ?? Fertilome Tree and Shrub Systemic Insect Drench is a soil drench and AceCap Insecticide Systemic Tree ImplantsProfessionals ?? Soil injections or drenches and Trunk Injections are the most effective.
Click here to learn more about the options homeowners have to prevent EAB.
Watch out for signs and symptoms that the emerald ash borer is in your neighborhood.
Those include dead branches on top of the tree, branches sprouting at the bottom of the tree trunk and D- shaped exit holes on branches at the top of the tree.
Todd Friye, with Bergman Nurseries says usually though when symptoms show up, the emerald ash borer has already been in the area several years. Follow Bergman Nurseries on Facebook here.