Seven new counties were added to West Virginia’s list of Emerald Ash Borer-infested counties in 2012, bringing the total number of affected counties in West Virginia to 24. New detections were made in Mercer, Ritchie, Braxton, Hampshire, Mineral, Lewis and Lincoln counties, according to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA).
West Virginia is currently under a federal EAB quarantine, which means that ash logs or products must be inspected and certified as EAB-free before they can be moved to any uninfested state.
“We continue to find EAB in more and more locations throughout the state,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass.
“It is extremely difficult to combat invasive species, but one thing people can do to help is avoid moving firewood long distances, such as when they go camping.”
Plant Industries Division Director Sherrie Hutchinson said, “No one wanted to find more EAB in the state, but the survey definitely enforces the fact that this invasive beetle has spread through artificial movement because we are finding it in spotty areas across the state. Every time you move infested ash firewood or logs you help move the beetle. They are under the bark where you don’t see them, so please don’t move firewood.”
EAB attacks only ash trees. It is believed to have been introduced into the Detroit, Mich., area 15 to 20 years ago on wood packing material from Asia. Since then, the destructive insect has been found in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec.
Anyone with questions about EAB can contact the WVDA’s Plant Industries Division at 304-558-2212, or visit www.emeraldashborer.info.