To the Editor:

What's small, bright metallic green and has destroyed tens of millions of ash trees in forests and neighborhoods?  The answer is the emerald ash borer (EAB) beetle.   Only about 1/2-inch long, this destructive pest is hard to spot in the wild - but the damage they cause is easy to see.   
Since first being detected in North America in 2002, the EAB has been found in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and now in Connecticut.  And, several counties in previously infested states have reported their first EAB finds this summer.

This invasive pest has already cost municipalities, property owners, and industries millions of dollars - and will continue to do so if it continues to spread. If we don't stop this beetle, our yards, woods, and neighborhoods will feel the effect.  USDA works to address invasive pests that gained a foothold in our communities or that threaten agricultural resources. USDA partners with federal and state government and local organizations to protect America's forested lands, which are important part of our economy, and to protect the urban and suburban tree canopies that enhance our quality of life and protect the environment.  But those partnerships alone are not enough to stop invasive pests like EAB.  We need your help, too.
Although EAB adults are strong flyers, they only fly a few miles at most and have to rely on hitching a ride to new locations through infested ash wood.  In fact, many new infestations are caused by people unknowingly moving infested ash.

So, how can you help? Join the 20,631 people on Facebook who have pledged to Stop The Beetle and avoid moving ash materials, including nursery stock, mulch, and logs, and be aware of Federal and State regulations that prohibit certain movements of firewood.  Numerous state and local recreational areas ban the use of non-local firewood completely, so plan to call ahead and find out. The easiest solution is to always purchase certified treated and labeled firewood or buy firewood where you burn it, and burn it all on site.

With your help, we can help protect America's ash trees from this hungry pest.  For more information on the EAB visit or

Rebecca Blue
Deputy Under Secretary
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C.