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Being green, seeing purple

Being green, seeing purple

(NAPS)-What's big, purple and hangs in ash trees across the country? It's called a "purple trap." Set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and its state partners, this is a device that monitors for the presence of an invasive pest called the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle.
The EAB Kills Ash Trees
Since its discovery in 2002, this beetle has killed tens of millions of ash trees and threatens to kill millions more as it continues to spread. The adult beetle is metallic green and only about 1_2" long. As a larva, it spends its entire life burrowed under the bark of a tree-which makes the EAB tough to spot. While under the bark, the EAB disrupts the systems that transport food and water to the tree, eventually starving and killing it. When the EAB exits a tree, the beetle leaves a distinctive D-shaped hole in the bark.
Purple in Ash Trees
Unlike the EAB, purple traps are easy to spot. The trap is a three-dimensional triangle that's about 24 inches long. It's made out of thin, corrugated purple plastic and covered in glue. The beetles are attracted to the color, as well as a scented lure used to bait the traps. In the spring, EABs fly around, nibble on ash tree leaves and look for a mate. If one lands on a purple trap, it will get stuck in the glue. But don't worry, purple traps pose no risk to the trees-or humans, pets or wildlife.
Purple traps do not draw the beetle to an area-rather, they help detect it if it is already present.
What You Can Do
You can play a role in stopping the spread of EAB and destruction of ash trees. Start by talking to your friends and family about the serious threat this beetle poses to America's ash trees. Understand that the beetle typically doesn't move far on its own. It's known as a hitchhiker, catching rides in cut wood. So don't move firewood. Buy firewood locally and burn it where you buy it. Learn more about the EAB at If you spot a purple trap on the ground or possible signs of EAB damage in your trees, you can contact your state's Department of Agriculture or Natural Resources, or call the toll-free USDA-EAB Hotline at (866) 322-4512.

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