University of Illinois Extension officials are warning people in parts of West Central Illinois to check for the emerald ash borer.
The beetle, native to Asia, feeds on ash trees and has been spotted in the area, according to Ken Johnson, who appeared on “What’s On Your Mind?” on WLDS on Friday.
“It has been found in Springfield, in Petersburg, so Sangamon and Menard Counties. So, if you’re living in those counties, you want to start treating for it. Here in Morgan County, in the Jacksonville area, it’s not time to start treating for it yet. The recommendation is, you don’t start treating trees until it’s been found within 15 miles of where you live, or within your county. So, some part of Cass County would be within 15 miles, parts of eastern Cass County,” says Johnson.
“So, if you have ash trees out there and you want to try and save them, you need to be treating them, and now would be a good time to be starting those treatments.”
To step up its efforts to fight the bug, Johnson says the USDA has brought back parasitic wasps from Asia.
“These aren’t wasps that you typically think of, the big wasps that form nests and stuff. These are the size of a gnat, something like that. So, you’re probably not even going to notice them. But, they’ve been raising these and they’ve been releasing them in different states,” he says.
“They have released them in Illinois. It’s not something that’s going to wipe out emerald ash borer. It’s kind of going to slow the progression down maybe a little bit. The populations aren’t going to be quite as high but it’s not going to be something that’s going to eliminate them from the U.S., unfortunately,” Johnson continues.
You can listen to the full interview with Johnson and find out more about how to fight emerald ash borer by clicking below.