Scientists have recently unveiled that emerald ash borer bugs infested ash trees in southwest Missouri. This tree pest is continuously spreading across Missouri. Many ash trees in Laclede County are affected by these bugs. Based on the data shared by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the bugs which infected ash trees are called emerald ash borers.
- Emerald ash borer bugs have spread across 31 counties in Missouri.
- This lethal bug affects the population of ash trees.
- In early summer, females lay their eggs on the bark of ash trees.
This insect represents a bright green beetle that can severely affect ash trees. The emerald ash borer is currently very popular in areas from Laclede County, situated somewhere near Lebanon. The current study shared the first evidence of this insect in the southwest of Missouri.
Jennifer Behnken, a representative from the MDC’s urban forester for Missouri’s southeast region, pointed out that emerald ash borer bugs threaten the population of ash trees in the whole state. Behnken reported that the native borer bugs only kill the weakened trees, while the rest of the ash trees are kept safe.
These insects somehow started to attack healthy ash trees, thus devastating the population of this species. Based on a news release from a Department of Conservation, this species of insects has already spread in approximately thirty counties of Missouri, affecting numerous ash trees. The most significant number of emerald ash borer insects is found in St. Louis and Kansas City, in southeast Missouri.
This represents the first time when the non-native insect spread in the southwest area of this state. Based on several other studies, the emerald ash borer comes from Asia. The half-inch-long borer was first discovered back in 2002 in Michigan. Specialists assume that the insect might have been transported to the US in pallets and crates made out of ash borer infected wood.
After such a tree is infected, it is bound to die in two to four years. Since it was discovered, the harmful insect killed hundreds of millions of ash trees across the US. The adult bug emerges from the bark of an ash tree, leaving a D-shaped hole. In early summer, females usually lay their eggs on the bark of these trees.
The eggs are later hatched transforming into larvae. Then, they bore into the vascular layer of the tree, a particular area where nutrients and water are transported through the whole tree.
Image courtesy of: flickr