Crews tracking emerald ash borer in Boulder area

Posted at 8:04 PM, Apr 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-26 00:48:05-04

The Colorado State Forest Service is hanging emerald ash borer (EAB) traps along thoroughfares near the City of Boulder to track the spread of the invasive bug.

State entomologist Dan West hung several different test traps in Christensen park to figure out which one is most effective at catching EAB. The most successful trap will be used on trees on main roads leading out of the city.

"We're deploying our traps around the city of Boulder to protect municipalities that are adjacent to Boulder," said West.

Forest service officials know the bug is likely headed east. And the most traveled roads, including US-36, could aid in the ash tree-killing bug's spread.

"Once a pest becomes infested in an area, all of those trees will die unless they become chemically treated for this pest," West said.

The traps are either green or purple and have adhesive that traps bugs. The more samples the forest service can collect, the more data they will have about which way the bug is spreading.

West said he thinks people usually are the main reason the bugs spread. Naturally, the bugs can move only about a half mile during one year's time. However, new infestations can pop up farther away than that, indicating the bug might've had indirect human help.

EAB can kill every species of ash tree in Colorado, given the chance. West hopes their efforts can inform cities and towns when the infestation is near them, so the local governments can make a plan to keep the bug from killing all of their trees.