Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, attacks only ash trees.. It is believed to have been introduced into Michigan 15 to 20 years ago on wood packing material from Asia. Since then, the destructive insect has been found in numerous states including Tennessee. Typically, the emerald ash borer beetles can kill an ash tree within three years of the initial infestation.
The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. Adults are dark green, one-half inch in length and one-eighth inch wide, and fly only from April until September, depending on the climate of the area. In Tennessee most EAB adults would fly in May and June. Larvae spend the rest of the year beneath the bark of ash trees. When they emerge as adults, they leave D-shaped holes in the bark about one-eighth inch wide.
TDA officials urge area residents and visitors to help prevent the spread of EAB: