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Have you seen these in trees around Virginia?

UPDATE:  4/24/2012  The purple bags returned to Central Virginia this month!  Have you seen them?

While driving around Virginia this week, I keep seeing purple triangular objects suspended in trees.  I’ve been wondering what the heck they are.  Not being a conspiracy theorists, I immediately ruled out alien space ships etc.  Several years back we had gypsy moth traps around Central Virginia that were smaller and horizontally mounted, so I contacted the Louisa County Office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension (the good folks providing a local connection to Virginia Tech and Virginia State Agricultural, Natural Resource, Family and Consumer Services, 4-H Youth Development, and Community Viability) to see if they had an answer.   They sent back the following reply dealing with the Emerald Ash Borer traps:

For the third consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), will conduct a statewide survey to determine the extent of areas infested with the Emerald Ash Borer. The 2011 survey will include large areas of central, southern and western Virginia.

As part of the upcoming EAB survey efforts, USDA has contracted with Delta-21 Resources, Inc., to install approximately 5,500 traps throughout Virginia.  The traps are easy to identify. They are purple in color, triangular in shape, and measure 14-inches wide by 24-inches long. The traps are baited with natural plant oil attractant and covered with a non-toxic glue to catch the insects. The traps are especially useful for revealing new infestations that would otherwise remain undetected. 

The EAB larvae kill ash trees by feeding on the inner bark and disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. EAB was introduced accidentally into the United States, most likely in wood packing materials coming from Asia, and was first detected in Michigan in 2002.  VDACS Commissioner Matthew J. Lohr explains the reasons for continuing the EAB survey, which began April 1 and will run through the end of August.  He says, “EAB has already killed tens of millions of ash trees in 13 states, and we are very concerned about the infestations in Northern Virginia. The damage caused by this invasive insect can mean the loss of millions of dollars for homeowners, landowners, nursery and forest products industries. It is extremely important to track the movement of EAB in order to help slow its spread and to work with localities to help them make informed pest management decisions.”

 Additional information regarding specific trap locations can be obtained by calling Delta-21 Resources, Inc. at 877-207-9406.

If you haven’t visited your local  Virginia Cooperative Extension office or their web site lately, stop by since there they share lots of great info!  If you have real estate questions, I’m here to help, so let’s talk!

Emerald Ash Borer Traps Invade Central Virginia Spring of 2011