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Emerald Ash Borer

​​The Illinois Department of Agriculture welcomes you to our new Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) page. 

Hopefully this information will answer most of your questions regarding the Emerald Ash Borer, if not all.  If you cannot find what you are looking for, please​ contact our Outreach Coordinator by emailing or by calling (815) 787-5476

EAB is in Illinois

Native to Asia, the Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic beetle that was unknown in North America until June 2002 when it was discovered as the cause for the decline of many Ash trees in southeast Michigan and neighboring Windsor, Ontario, Canada. 

It has since been found in several states from the east coast, spanning across the Midwest and in June 2006, we discovered that it had taken up residence in Illinois. On June 9, 2006, two Ash trees in "The Windings" subdivision, near Lilly Lake in Kane County were positively identified as being infested with the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

EAB, Agrilus Planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), is identified as the causative agent in Ash tree mortality and decline. No bigger than a penny, this green menace has wreaked havoc on millions of Ash trees in the Midwest and if not controlled, could wipe out the Ash tree species in North America. The adult beetles nibble on Ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark or cambium layer, which is the crucial layer between the bark and wood of Ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. Emerald Ash Borer probably arrived in the United States on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes originating in its native Asia. 

EAB Facts:

  • It attacks only ash trees (Fraxiinus spp.).
  • Adult Beetles are metallic green and about 1/2 inch long.
  • Adults leave a D-shaped exit hole in the bark when they emerge in Spring.
  • Woodpeckers like EAB larvae; heavy woodpecker damage on ash trees may be a sign of infestation.
  • Firewood cannot be moved outside of many states, including Illinois, because of a Federal EAB Quarantine.
  • It probably came from Asia in wood packing material. 


Questions about EAB? Click Here for a list of FAQs