Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) and Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

March Update: Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) and Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Teams scoured hemlock around Beaver Island and found no evidence of HWA. Four counties in SW Michigan are currently battling HWA which was introduced by infected hemlocks transported from another state. Instructions on how to inspect your trees for invasive pests can be found at: www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/

Emerald ash borer is an exotic beetle from Asia that was discovered near Detroit in 2002. By the time it was detected and identified, it had wide throughout southern Michigan. Because so little was known about this new invasive species, it took many years to develop a strategy to detect and deal with it. It probably arrived on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships. With no immunity to EAB, it could wipe out Michigan’s 700 million ash trees.

Local, state and federal agencies and researchers at Michigan State University are working with local communities to keep EAB and other exotic species from spreading. This includes methods to control or eradicate invasive species and quarantines to stop transport of infested wood and wood products within and between townships. Multi-agencies have offered to communicate their progress on controlling EAB to Beaver Islanders.

EAB traps have been installed on Beaver Island for over a decade. One beetle was found in one of the twenty traps placed in 2018 and 2019. In late March, a team of experts descended on Beaver Island to review the status of EAB. Two sites of 21 sites reviewed were found to have Larvae in various stages. The two sites showed evidence of heavy woodpecker activity consistent with an EAB infestation. Research has shown that new methods may reduce EAB by 80-90%. Due to early detection, forestry experts thought Beaver Island had may prevent EAB’s spread. To aid in detection, Beaver Island Association volunteers will increase EAB traps and lure placement in 2019 with an expansion to Garden Island.

What can property owners on Beaver Island and visitors do:

1) Do not bring wood to Beaver Island that has not been properly treated or debarked (this is a townships ordinance).

2) Do not move ash wood around Beaver Island.

3) Obtain additional invasive species information at the Community Center.

4) Sign up at the Community Center for a site check if you observe woodpecker activity.

5) Stay tuned for further information resulting from an April multi-agency conference call. Beaver Island Association