Cliff Sadof, Department of Entomology, Purdue
Jodie Ellis, Department of Entomology, Purdue University
Ash trees in Indiana have taken a beating during the last two years from summer droughts and other adverse conditions. Unfortunately, stressed and weakened trees attract many types of borer insects such as carpenterworms (Lepidoptera: Cossidae) which severely damage the trees' vascular systems as they tunnel under bark to feed. This picture shows large exit holes made by carpenterworms as they emerge from an ash tree in adult form. Other borer pests of ash trees include clearwing moths (Lepidoptera: Sessidae) and red-headed ash borer (Coleoptera: Cerambicidae). Although these native ash pests are bad enough, Indiana ash trees are also in the direct line of fire from an invasive borer, emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). Emerald ash borer has already killed 5.5 million ash trees in the Detroit, MI area, and has recently been found near Toledo, Ohio. The closest infested area is only 50 miles from the Indiana border. Although native borers tend to limit their attacks to stressed ash trees, emerald ash borer appears to attack healthy ones.
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