In 2002, a large infestation of the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) was discovered in communities in and around Detroit, MI. This beetle kills ash trees within a few years after initial infestation with a mortality rate of nearly 100 percent. Since EAB was first discovered in the United States, infestations have been detected in locations far removed from the original detection point. So far, EAB has killed or caused the removal of tens of millions of ash trees in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic States, and Southern Canada. Managing EAB depends in part on successfully detecting and monitoring this insect. Finding EAB early helps reduce the beetle’s spread via the movement of firewood and other wood products. However, no efficient, reliable method of early detection exists for EAB or other beetles of the Buprestidae family. Current EAB detection methods, including visual surveys and traps, are labor intensive, expensive, and sometimes kill trees.
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