Matthew J. Lohr, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently signed orders that expanded the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) quarantine to include the counties of Charlotte, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, and Pittsylvania and the city of Danville. This action was taken because of the detection of EAB in or near these localities. Localities that were previously quarantined include Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park and Winchester.
The quarantine restricts the movement of regulated articles from quarantined localities to non-quarantined localities. The regulated articles, which include ash trees, green (non-heat treated) ash lumber and ash wood products, as well as hardwood firewood, pose a significant risk of transporting EAB. These regulated articles may move freely within the quarantined areas.
EAB is a highly destructive, invasive beetle that has already killed millions of ash trees in the U.S. and Canada. The adult emerald ash borer is metallic green in color and about one-half inch long and one-eighth inch wide. The adult female deposits eggs on the bark of ash trees. The EAB eggs hatch into larvae which chew their way into the soft layer of wood beneath the bark, disrupting the trees’ vascular system and cutting off the flow of water and nutrients. EAB in the larval stage are difficult to detect as they feed under the tree bark which enables EAB to hitch a ride to new areas when people transport firewood or other infested wood products.
“The Emerald Ash Borer is a serious threat to ash trees in Virginia,” said Commissioner Lohr. “VDACS and our partners are doing everything we can to limit the spread within Virginia and to surrounding states. I urge Virginians to keep EAB from spreading by not moving firewood and other regulated articles out of the quarantined area.”