Emerald ash borer, a destructive beetle, confirmed in Henrico

Emerald ash borer, a destructive beetle, confirmed in Henrico
In an undated photo provided by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, an adult emerald ash borer is shown. The highly destructive insects which kill ash trees are metallic green and about 1/2-inch long. (Source: AP Photo/Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - The destructive emerald ash borer was discovered in Richmond earlier this year and an infestation has now been confirmed in Henrico County.

The beetles, which destroy ash trees, were found on traps placed near nature trails at Crump Park and Three Lakes Park, the Virginia Department of Forestry confirmed.

Finding the beetles indicates that the population is already high, VDOF said in a press release.

The emerald ash borer has caused millions of dollars in damage and killed hundreds of millions of ash trees since being discovered in North America.

VDOF said ash trees are likely to die within one to five years of becoming infested and trees can pose a hazard due to falling limbs if not treated or removed.

A 50 percent cost-share program will be offered next spring to help offset the costs of treatment of ash trees. VDOF encourages landowners with healthy ash trees larger than 12 inches in diameter to apply to the program and have their trees treated with a trunk injection. VDOF’s website offers an explainer and guide identifying ash trees.

Emerald ash borer larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk. The invasive insect was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009 and is now found in 35 states.
Emerald ash borer larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk. The invasive insect was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009 and is now found in 35 states. (Source: Mike Groll)

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