Join the Search for Emerald Ash Borer

Join the Search for Emerald Ash Borer

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Maine Forest Service

Join the Search for Emerald Ash Borer

It’s national emerald ash borer awareness week. Learn how you can help in the response to emerald ash borer in Maine.

Six years ago this week, emerald ash borer (EAB) was found in Edmundston, New Brunswick. Soon after, Maine crews found the edges of that infestation along the Saint John River in Madawaska. Now, EAB is known in seven of Maine’s sixteen counties. 

You can be part of the team that is looking for EAB populations in Maine. Whether becoming informed about what to look for and then looking for the signs of attack as you travel the state, or joining the survey through girdling an ash tree or monitoring a colony of native, buprestid hunting wasps (known as the “beetle bandits”), when you engage in the search, you improve our response to this insect.

In This Bulletin:

Spot the signs

Larval galleries in a tree trunk

Signs of emerald ash borer attack including bright spots on the stems of ash trees, tunnelling beneath the bark, larvae with bell-shaped segments under the bark, and the brilliant green, slender beetles.

Visit our website or watch a webinar to learn the signs of an EAB attack. Once you know the signs and recognize ash trees, you can be part of our detection network. Ash trees are abundant in the places we do business (once you can recognize this tree, you’ll be surprised how often they were planted). They line our roadways and rivers and are scattered within our forests. Keep tabs on them, and report signs of attack

A row of ornamental trees in a parking lot

Typical green ash monoculture in a parking lot. Image: Gary Fish, DACF.

Set a trap

If you own or manage land with ash trees in Maine outside of where EAB has already been found, you could become an important part of our detection network. Volunteers participating in our EAB trap tree network have made meaningful contributions to our knowledge of where the insect has landed. In particular, we want to know where EAB has spread, so if your property with ash is in a non-infested area of the quarantine zone (blue) or potentially infested area (orange), you can help us out. Learn more about this program!

Map of Maine showing quarantine areas

Join the search by participating in the girdled trap tree network. We are looking for cooperators in the quarantine zone (blue) and potential infested area (orange) shown above.

A man using a draw knife to peel bark on a tree

Entomologist Gabe LeMay establishing a girdled trap tree in Old Town, ME.

Watch the wasps

If you can’t get enough of the wonders of nature, then wasp watching may be your next passion. The “beetle bandit,” Cerceris fumipennis, is a native, solitary soil-dwelling wasp. It hunts beetles in the Buprestidae family to provision its nests. When EAB is an area, it is a good detection tool for this pest. If you can spend some time on warm, sunny days in July and August looking for these colonies or monitoring what the wasps are returning with, we can use your help as a wasp watcher. Important note: these wasps are safe to handle.

A wasp held between two fingers

The native “beetle bandit” is a solitary wasp used in the hunt for EAB.

Explore more

EAB was the catalyst for awareness of the risks to our forests from transported firewood. The list of devastating pests that have hitched a ride in or on firewood has grown in the last two decades. You make a difference in the spread of EAB and other forest pests and the future of our forests when you make choices about firewood.

Here’s what YOU can do to make a positive difference:

Learn More!