Purple Boxes High in Campus Trees Trap, Help Monitor Destructive Insect

The emerald ash borer, an invasive and destructive insect.
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The emerald ash borer, an invasive and destructive insect.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Purple prism shaped boxes are hanging high in the branches of three trees on the University of Arkansas campus.

The boxes are not for decoration. They are traps intended to catch the half-inch long bugs known as emerald ash borers.

The emerald ash borer is a small invasive insect from Asia, first discovered in the U.S. in Michigan in 2002. The borers have spread to many other states and killed tens of millions of ash trees in the northern and eastern U.S. Emerald ash borers are also spreading to the south, and were discovered in southern Arkansas in August 2014 and In September, the Arkansas State Plant Board imposed an emergency quarantine in 25 counties to slow spread of the tiny green beetle.

The Plant Board is working with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, the Arkansas Forest Resources Center and the Arkansas Forestry Commission to monitor the spread of these insects around the state.

University forester installs insect traps.

University forester Chris Stuhlinger installed the purple traps to help monitor the spread of the emerald ash borer in this part of Arkansas.  The purple color of the trap, which mimics the coloring under the insect’s wings – along with a lure inside the trap – attract any emerald ash borers in the vicinity.  The outside of the trap is coated with a sticky substance, which traps any insects that touch it.

The traps will be in the trees on campus until mid-August.  Please do not disturb them.  More Information about the emerald ash borer can be found at www.emeraldashborer.info or www.uaex.edu

Contacts

Mary Hightower, director, communication services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
501-671-2126, mhightower@uaex.edu

Steve Voorhies, manager, media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu

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