Emerald ash borer
The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is a highly destructive invasive beetle that attacks and kills all species of ash in the genus fraxinus. It has already killed millions of trees in North America. The emerald ash borer is most commonly spread through the movement of firewood and other infested ash wood products, although it can also spread by flying. Research shows that adult beetles can fly up to 10 kilometers.
What you can do
- Don't move firewood, especially ash wood, or regulated materials out of regulated areas for emerald ash borer
- If your ash trees have died, replant them with recommended alternatives to ash trees
- Report any detections outside of regulated areas immediately:
Report an emerald ash borer sighting
Where it is
The emerald ash borer is present and regulated in:
- all of the southern and middle areas of Ontario, Quebec and New-Brunswick
- the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario
- the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba
- the city of Halifax, Nova-Scotia
See a map of all regulated areas for this pest in Canada, as well as a list of regulated states in the United States.
How to spot it
Signs of infestation on ash trees
Due to its small size, early detection of emerald ash borer is challenging. Visual inspection should instead focus on signs and symptoms of attack on ash trees. You may be able to see S-shaped lines formed by larva if the bark has been removed. Wood pecker feeding, epicormics shoots on the trunk, leaf yellowing and branch dieback are also good indicators of emerald ash borer presence. Eggs are laid on the bark of branches. Once they hatch, larvae will make their way through the bark, feeding on the inner bark and sapwood, eventually forming flat, 6 mm, S-shaped galleries which are filled with a fine brownish coating.
The larva can grow from 2 to 5 cm long and the width of the S-shaped gallery increases throughout its life span.
Infested ash trees in North America generally die after 2 to 3 years, but heavily infested trees have been observed to die after only 1 year.
Life stages of the emerald ash borer
The beetle has a metallic green back and an emerald green underside. Ranging from 8.5 to 14.0 mm long and 3.1 to 3.4 mm wide, the beetle is fairly small and difficult to spot. The body is narrow and elongated, and the head is flat. The eyes are kidney shaped and usually black.
Emerald ash borer larvae are white and flat, with distinctive bell-shaped segments, and can grow up from 2 to 5 cm long.
What we are doing
Import, movement and phytosanitary regulations
- Map of regulated areas
- Regulated materials
- Risk management decision for the regulated areas for emerald ash borer (RMD-13-01)
- Phytosanitary requirements to prevent the introduction into and spread within Canada of the emerald ash borer (D-03-08)
- Phytosanitary import requirements for non-processed wood and other wooden products, bamboo and bamboo products, originating from all areas other than the continental United States (D-02-12)
- Phytosanitary requirements for the importation and domestic movement of firewood (D-01-12)
- Entry requirements for wood packaging material into Canada (D-98-08)
- Canadian wood packaging import requirements
- Plant protection import requirements for plants and plant parts for planting (D-08-04)
Biological control and surveillance
- Emerald ash borer detections
- Using wasps as biological control agents for the emerald ash borer
- Using other species as a biosurveillance tool for the emerald ash borer
- To receive a copy of the emerald ash borer survey protocol, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Emerald ash borer approved facilities compliance program
- Approved facilities
- For facilities: Quality management system manual for registered facilities (QSM-07)
- For CFIA auditors: Quality management system manual to administer the program (QSM-08)
Sign up for e-mail notifications about the emerald ash borer.
- Questions and answers about the emerald ash borer in Canada
- Pest factsheet
- Plant pest card
- Poster: emerald ash borer pest alert
- Podcast: Bug fight: the emerald ash borer vs. parasitic wasps
- Children's activity: Find the emerald ash borer beetle!
- Hazards of moving firewood
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