On June 9, 2006, the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the detection of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, in Illinois. A homeowner in a rural subdivision near Lily Lake, about 40 miles west of Chicago in central Kane County, discovered the beetle and alerted APHIS officials. Once the insect was confirmed as EAB, Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) nursery inspectors visited the residential subdivision where the specimen was found and subsequently discovered several infested ash trees in the immediate neighborhood and evidence of an infestation in an adjacent area.
As of June 21, 2006, APHIS and IDOA confirmed the Kane County infestation to be at least one mile in diameter. Delimiting surveys will continue outward from this area. APHIS and State officials will also conduct detection surveys in the nine counties surrounding Kane County, which includes areas in Wisconsin.
Program officials will conduct tracebacks and traceforwards at infested nurseries to locate areas that may have received potentially infested ash nursery stock. All infested trees will be removed. Depending on the survey results, the program will determine whether additional trees will be removed to prevent further pest spread.
The EAB program is also planning an aggressive outreach and education campaign to enlist the support and cooperation of homeowners and businesses. EAB can be spread easily through the movement of firewood and ash nursery stock. Public awareness and assistance will be critical in encouraging residents to report possible beetle damage in their area, as well as in preventing the spread of this insect through the movement of regulated articles.
APHIS and IDOA will quarantine affected areas in Illinois to prevent additional pest spread.