Emerald Ash Borer, a federally regulated insect pest of ash trees, has been confirmed in Union Parish making it the fourth parish in Louisiana to have EAB. EAB is a native insect of Asia. It was discovered in Michigan in 2002 and is now in 25 states, including Louisiana. EAB is a serious pest to all types of ash trees and the white fringetree, but does not attack other hardwoods or pine.
On April 28, the United States Department of Agriculture notified the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry of the confirmation. The identified specimen was trapped by the United States Forestry Service which along with Natural Resources Conservation Service, LDAF Forestry Division, and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine comprise the agencies that are trapping for EAB statewide. The four agencies have a total of more than 470 EAB traps deployed throughout the state.
In addition to the trapping and survey program, the LSU AgCenter and USFS began a biocontrol release program early last year to aid in the control of EAB. The USDA funds a program to rear tiny non-stinging wasps that, when released, aid in the control of EAB.