Decoys could blunt spread of ash-killing beetles

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As the emerald ash borer ravages North American ash trees, threatening the trees’ very survival, a team of entomologists and engineers may have found a way to prevent the spread of the pests.

Emerald ash borers (EABs), a type of beetle native to Asia, first appeared in the U.S. about 20 years ago. They are now moving east from Michigan, killing ash trees on the Eastern Seaboard as far south as North Carolina.

“Within 25 years, practically no ash trees may remain on either side of the St. Lawrence Seaway,” said Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Charles Godfrey Binder Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State.

As their name implies, emerald ash borers are iridescent green. The beetles don’t carry disease, but their larvae feed on the ash trees’ sap, effectively killing the trees by depriving trees of their nourishment. KEEP READING >>