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Emerald Ash Borers
What is the Emerald Ash Borer?
Emerald Ash Borer
The emerald ash borer is a wood-boring insect that only kills ash trees.  This insect, which is native to Asia, was accidentally introduced into this country through wood packaging material.  The borer is in Fairfax County and is a threat because it has killed millions of ash trees in the Midwest. 

This pest has caused billions of dollars of damage to North America's forest industry and has killed many popular landscaping trees.  The emerald ash borer does not generally spread great distances on its own. It is mainly spread when various ash articles (firewood, wood chips, nursery stock, etc.) are transported from infested areas to uninfested areas.

For more information on the current status of the Emerald Ash Borer in Fairfax County, visit the Fairfax County website.

Purple Traps
Purple-colored trap used to detect emerald ash borer.
To monitor the emerald ash borer, large, purple-colored traps are hung in ash trees from spring through summer.  The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, USDA and Fairfax County are using the traps to monitor this insect because of its threat to ash trees.  Several of these traps are hung in trees throughout Town.  Residents should be aware of the following information regarding the purple traps:

Traps don't contain pesticides or chemicals.
No pesticides or chemicals are used in the traps.  Instead, they are baited with natural plant oil and covered with a non-toxic glue to catch the insect.

Traps only detect the emerald ash borer- not eradicate it.
The traps allow the insect to be detected without damaging trees.  Without the traps, tree bark must be cut away to find the borers.  The traps are checked regularly to see if any borers have been caught.

Traps won't lure the borer to your property if it's not already in the area.
Traps are placed in or near ash trees, the only kind of tree that the borers attack.  If this pest isn't already in your area, the traps won't draw them to your property.

Don't touch the traps because they are very sticky.
The traps are covered with a non-toxic glue that's extremely sticky and messy if touched.  If you find a trap on the ground, call the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at (804) 786-3515, TTY 711.

Information provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Help Stop the Spread of Emerald Ash Borer
In an effort to prevent the artificial spread of the emerald ash borer from infested to non-infested areas of Virginia, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services quarantined much of Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County and all localities located within the County.  This quarantine bans taking hardwood firewood out of the quarantined areas.  When you transport firewood, you may be spreading the emerald ash borer.  To help prevent the spread of this insect, use only local sources of firewood and do not transport firewood outside of Fairfax County. Firewood may; however, be transported within the quarantined areas.

Besides hardwood firewood, these items may not be taken out of the quarantined area:
  • Live ash trees, including those from garden stores or nurseries;
  • Dead, fallen or cut ash trees, including logs, branches, stumps, roots and composted or uncomposted chips; and
  • Green ash lumber.
These items may be transported within the quarantined areas.

Additional Information
For more information on the emerald ash borer and frequently asked questions, visit the Emerald Ash Borer website.