Emerald Ash Borer Survey

The Emerald Ash Borer Survey is a cooperative effort by Clemson-DPI and USDA-APHIS-PPQ to protect South Carolina’s agricultural economy and preserve a safe and healthy environment.  DPI placed hundreds of purple traps throughout the state for four years, and contracted out the survey for the last two years.  Last year, contractors assessed 609 sites and deployed 362 traps across 22 counties.   EAB has not yet been detected in South Carolina, but is moving closer with time.  Similar surveys in North Carolina and Georgia resulted in first detections of EAB in 2013.

The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, is an enormous threat to our urban, suburban and rural forests.  EAB kills stressed and healthy trees and is so aggressive that ash trees may die within two or three years after they become infested.  High-risk areas include deciduous forests with ash species, campgrounds and residential areas where ash has been planted. 

Purple emerald ash borer panel trap hanging in green ash.

All three outer panels of the purple EAB trap are coated in sticky glue to catch insects that are attracted to chemical lure that hangs inside the trap.  Traps are monitored and lure is replaced periodically.  Research shows that members of the Buprestidae family are attracted to red and purple hues, and purple traps were the most successful in detecting the presence of EAB.  Additionally, the lure used in EAB trapping mimics stressed ash trees to attract borers that are already in the area.  The purple trap does not lure beetles into a new area, but is simply a tool for detecting the EAB that is already present.  Please do not touch any survey materials you may find in the forest to ensure an accurate data collection.  The traps do not pose a threat to humans or pets, but glue that coats the outside of the trap is difficult to remove from skin, hair and clothing.

If you suspect you have found an emerald ash borer or an infested ash tree, please contact DPI at invasives@clemson.edu or 864.646.2140.


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