Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Photo Credit: Natural Resources Canada

The Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) a native insect of Asia was first detected in North America (Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario) in 2002. It is thought that the insect was brought unintentionally to America with ash wood that was sued to stabilize shipping crates.

The Emerald Ash Borer or EAB is classified as an invasive species, which is highly destructive (deadly) to all species of true ash trees in North America. Since its introduction, the EAB has been identified in at least 13 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Quebec). Its spread has been facilitated by the transport of firewood and planting stock and has resulted in many satellite populations across the landscape. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has put in place regulatory measures to prohibit the movement of specific materials including any ash material and firewood of all species from infested areas.

The insect has an iridescent green colour and is quite small and the early onset of an infestation is hard to determine since the signs of an infestation only become visible once the crown of the tree starts to die at which point it is too late to save the tree.


Scientists at the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) of Natural Resources Canada estimate that costs for treatment, removal and replacement of trees affected by EAB in Canadian municipalities may reach $2 billion over a 30-year period.

Therefore the development of a monitoring system capable of detecting EAB at low populations would provide a valuable tool to aid in managing and controlling infestations.

Researchers at the CFS have developed a lure combination of a pheromone and a green leaf volatile that offers a valuable tool for the early detection and management of EAB. The (3Z)-lactone [(3Z)-dodecen-12-olide] is a volatile sex pheromone emitted by the virgin female emerald ash borer and when combined with the green leaf volatile (3Z)-hexenol, placed in a green prism trap, which is deployed mid crown in the canopy  has shown significantly improved trap captures of male EAB.

Further Web Resources

EAB Fact Sheet

Listing of CFS Science Publications on the EAB

Canadian Forest Service - Ash Protection Model (CFS-APM)


Frontline Express: Biological Control of the EAB (2012)

CFS Impact Note 53: Conserving Canada’s Ash Resource

All information was provided by Natrual Resources Canada - Canadian Forest Service.

EAB Pheromone Information