Lansing, MI –The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and Michigan Technological University announced the detection of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in three locations in, and near, the city of Houghton. Three baited purple panel traps installed by Michigan Technological University each collected one adult EAB.
“This is the first time EAB has been detected south of the Portage,” said Professor Andrew Storer, associate dean of Michigan Technological University School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. “It is important that people who live, work, go to school, and play in Houghton County are aware that EAB has moved into this area.”
At this time, no revisions to MDARD’s EAB Internal Quarantine will take place as a result of these detections. The area of Houghton County where these detections were made is currently quarantined. The movement of articles regulated by the quarantine out of Houghton County is prohibited except into Keweenaw County, excluding Isle Royale National Park. The prohibition on moving regulated articles to Isle Royale National Park remains in effect.
People are advised not to move regulated articles (firewood of any hardwood species, ash logs with bark, ash lumber with bark, ash trees, ash limbs/branches, ash stumps and hardwood wood and/or bark chips) southward within Houghton County, from the City of Houghton and the northern portions of Stanton, Adams, Portage and Chassell townships.
The ban on moving hardwood firewood north across the Mackinac Bridge remains in effect, and quarantine violators can still face fines and penalties. The U.P. counties currently under quarantine are Alger, Chippewa, Delta, Houghton, Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, and Schoolcraft. The Lower Peninsula continues to be quarantined in its entirety.
“Although residents and travelers are able to freely move firewood throughout the Lower Peninsula and some areas of the UP, we are urging them not to do so, as there are other invasive pests – such as Asian longhorned beetle, oak wilt, beech bark disease and gypsy moth – that be transported on firewood,” said Gina Alessandri, director of MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division. “Please use local sources of firewood, burn all you buy, and don’t take any unused firewood home or to the next location.”
MDARD continues to ask hunters and other travelers not to move firewood to help prevent the artificial spread of the EAB and other invasive pests. Campers and hunters should purchase firewood locally when visiting state parks, recreation areas, and state forest campgrounds, as it is a violation of state land use rules to bring ash firewood onto those lands.
EAB is an exotic insect native to Asia that attacks ash trees. In its larval stage, EAB feeds undetected under the bark of ash trees, disrupting water and nutrient flow -ultimately killing the trees in three to four years. First discovered in 2002, the borer is responsible for the death or damage of over 50 million ash trees in the Lower Peninsula and surrounding states.