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Energy and Environment

Kansas Expands Effort To Stop Emerald Ash Borer

Don't Move Firewood, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas is expanding efforts to keep an invasive beetle from spreading throughout the state.

The emerald ash borer hasn’t made it to Sedgwick County yet, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture is doing what it can to make sure the pest, which is effective at killing ash trees, doesn’t spread throughout the state. More than 150 traps will be installed in 23 counties, in the hopes of tracking the bug’s migration.

Beth Gains is with the Kansas Department of Agriculture and says residents can play a big role in keeping the bug at bay.

“It requires not transporting firewood from one area to the other, and if you’ve got ash trees, monitor those to make sure that there aren’t any signs of infestation,” Gaines says.

The pests have long been an issue in northern parts of the United States and have slowly moved south.

They’ve  been detected in Leavenworth, Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas.

City of Wichita officials say they’ve stopped planting ash trees, but still worry about the effects the invasive beetle could have on the city’s tree canopy.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, from the time emerald ash borer was first discovered in North America, the economic loss is estimated to be between $20 and $60 billion.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture will be trapping the Emerald Ash Borer in the following counties:

  • Atchison
  • Barton
  • Bourbon
  • Butler
  • Cherokee
  • Crawford
  • Doniphan
  • Douglas
  • Graham
  • Harvey
  • Jefferson
  • Labette
  • Linn
  • Neosho
  • Pawnee
  • Reno
  • Rooks
  • Riley
  • Russell
  • Shawnee
  • Sheridan
  • Sherman
  • Trego

Trapping will take place between the months of April and August.