Tiny pest, HUGE problem: Taking action against Emerald Ash Borer

MEQUON (WITI) -- They're a tiny insect no bigger than a penny, but they have the power to wipe out southeastern Wisconsin's ash tree population.

"The Emerald Ash Borer is an insect that was imported from Europe that attacks Ash Trees and kills them," said Emerald Ash Borer expert Ken Ottman.

Ottman says the insect tunnels under the bark of the tree and eats the tissues that move nutrients to the top of the tree.

You can detect if your tree has been infected by dieback at the top of the tree, woodpecker damage, or by identifying small d-shaped exit holes.

"You are going to have to find the d-shaped holes, scrape the bark off the tree, and identify the galleries and that will then positively identify the insect problem," said Ottman.

But the problem is, trees don't show these signs until years after they're infected.

The emerald ash borer grows slowly for the first 6 years, but can wipe-out all of the ash trees in a community within 12 years of being discovered.

And it's already been 6 years since it's been found in southeastern Wisconsin.

"We`re in the spot now that we can expect to see a lot of trees infested and die. 40 new cities were discovered with it in 2013," said Ottman.

Ottman says there is a solution that can save infected trees and protect uninfected trees, it's a chemical treatment called TreeAge.

"The TreeAge has to be applied by a licensed and certified applicator and it has been found and researched at Michigan State and Purdue to be 100% effective in saving your tree," said Ottman.

For more information on the emerald ash borer or how to protect your trees CLICK HERE or CLICK HERE.