• Common Sense Conservation Since 1938
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To promote the conservation, sound management, and sustainable use of Indiana's wildlife and wildlife habitat through education, advocacy, and action.

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an exotic, invasive insect that is destroying ash trees throughout Indiana. EAB has been identified in 22 states, mostly in the east and Midwest parts of the country. It was first found in Indiana in 2004 and has since then spread all over the state. Adult EABs are most active in the summer and early fall. It is the larvae, however, that do the greatest damage. They burrow through the ash tree’s bark, creating tunnels that stifle the tree’s systematic ability to obtain food and water.  

The EAB has a limited flying range so it is spread mostly by people who unknowingly move firewood, wood chips, or infected nursery trees into areas without previous infestation.

Observing the adult beetle or its larva can be difficult so it is often easier to looks for signs of ash tree distress:

  • Canopy dieback
  • Sprouts at the roots or trunk
  • Splitting bark
  • S-shaped tunneling
  • High woodpecker activity (they eat EAB larvae)

If you see the beetle or notice trees with signs of damage, contact the DNR.

There are insecticides for treating your ash tree that can be effective. If the tree has lost more than 50% of its canopy, insecticides will more than likely be unable to treat the tree. Insecticides are most effective on healthy or mostly healthy trees because their transport systems are still functioning and can distribute the chemical throughout the plant. However, only treat your tree if an infestation has been found in your county or nearby counties. Beginning treatment too early can be ineffective.

A list of insecticides that have been proven to help with the treatment of EAB are located here.

Even if your ash tree does not show signs of damage, it could still be in danger. Use this interactive map from the Department of Natural Resources to find out if you live in or near an area with EAB infestation.

How can you help stop the beetle?

  • Don’t move firewood.
  • Buy kiln-dried firewood.
  • Look for signs of the beetle or damage and report it.