Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was detected in North America in 2002 in Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. Since then, EAB has resulted in the death of millions of ash trees, many in the urban forest.
In commercial forestry, management decisions are supported by pest population data. However, in urban forestry many municipalities lack pest population data (e.g., where is the pest and what are the population levels) when managing EAB.
The collection of pest population data is a critical component of any insect management program. The information generated by these surveys provides managers, who are often faced with limited financial and human resources, with data that facilitates informed decisions for forest protection programs (e.g., when and where to start/stop treatments).
BioForest works closely with municipalities to help develop an EAB management plan, in particular, collecting field survey data on EAB populations using green prism traps. The information generated from prism traps helps reduce EAB management costs by enabling strategic targeting of tree treatments, removals and replacements.
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A prism trap is a tool used to lure and trap EAB adult beetles. It is constructed from three equal sized panels, made out of bright green corrugated plastic. The panels are fitted together and secured using a zip-tie to form a triangular prism. The outside of the trap is coated with a clear sticky glue-like substance to trap and immobilize insects that land on it. A three-armed metal spreader is punched through the top of all three panels, and a large metal hook is fitted through the spreader. Lures are attached to the base of the metal spreader using safety pins. Traps are hung in the canopy of mature ash trees.
Peer-reviewed research confirms that green prism traps are highly attractive to EAB. Green prism traps can help detect EAB in areas where signs and symptoms of an infestation are not apparent. Once EAB is detected, prism traps provide data that helps reduce EAB management costs by enabling strategic targeting of tree treatments, removals and replacements. In addition to monitoring EAB population trends, highly visible green prism traps pique public interest and can help generate community awareness of EAB and the value of urban trees.
There are three main reasons to consider using green prism traps:
- Early detection: There is no known EAB infestation within 25 km of the municipality or EAB has been detected within 25 km but not yet within the municipality. Prism traps help detect EAB early in an infestation which improves treatment success rate.
- Early detection and monitoring: EAB has been detected within the municipality in just a few areas in very low populations and the extent of the infestation is not yet known. Prism traps can help estimate the age of an infestation in an area and detect new areas of infestation as EAB spreads throughout a municipality.
- On-going monitoring of population trends: EAB is established or has been detected throughout the municipality. EAB is not uniform across a municipality. Using prism traps throughout an infestation helps identify low, moderate and high population areas which helps target treatments and removals.
Prism traps should be deployed prior to adult EAB emergence, which is typically late May to mid-June in North America, but varies greatly by region. Traps should be taken down following EAB adult flight period, which typically ends at the end of August.
Please refer to BioForest’s BioSIM maps to confirm deployment dates in your area.
Ideally, prism traps should be visually checked regularly (e.g., every two weeks) during the trapping season. If resources do not allow this frequency, traps should be checked a minimum of twice during the entire field season. When checking traps, crews should make sure the trap is still securely hung in the tree, the surface of the trap is not covered in debris or dirt, the glue is still evenly distributed across all external surfaces of the trap and the lure is intact (e.g., has not been tampered with or is dried out).
Prism trap surveys are a great way to detect and monitor EAB, but there are other activities that can supplement the data gathered from a trapping program. Branch sampling is another EAB detection and management tool developed by the Canadian Forest Service.
Branch sampling is a proven method of detecting EAB populations in trees with no obvious signs or symptoms of EAB, and can provide estimates of EAB density on individual infested trees. Conducting a branch sampling survey is of particular value in urban areas with high value ash trees and no known EAB infestation (but an infestation within 25 km). A combination of prism traps and branch sampling surveys is likely to increase the success of an early detection program; branch sampling can be used to identify infested trees and the extent of the infestation, in an area where EAB is suspected or has been detected on prism traps. Branch sampling should be conducted in the fall or winter when EAB beetles are not active to provide additional information regarding EAB density estimates, delimitation of the infestation, or suitability of individual trees for treatment.
Prism traps should be deployed prior to adult EAB emergence, which is typically late May to mid-June in North America, but can vary by region. Traps should be taken down following EAB adult flight period, which typically ends at the end of August. The traps should be visually checked regularly (e.g., every two weeks) during the trapping season, checking that the trap is still securely hung in the tree, is not covered in dirt or debris, that the glue is still evenly distributed across all surfaces, and the lure in intact.
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