Identifying and Preventing the Spread of the Emerald Ash Borer

Identifying EAB

The beetle has a metallic green back and an emerald green underside. Ranging from 8.5 to 14.0 mm long and 3.1 to 3.4 mm wide, the beetle is fairly small and difficult to spot. Due to its small size, detection may be easier by looking for S-shaped lines formed by EAB larva or unhealthy ash trees rather than the insect itself.

Emerald Ash Borer. Actual size: approximately 8.5 to 14 millimetres. Exit hole: approximately 3.5 millimetres.
S-shaped lines S-shaped galleries (or tunnels) found beneath the bark of an ash that has been infested by the emerald ash borer

Help Prevent the Spread

Don't Move Firewood

Slowing the spread of the emerald ash borer will protect Canada's environment and forest resources. It also helps keep international markets open to the forest industry and nurseries in non-regulated parts of Canada.

The emerald ash borer is most commonly spread through the movement of firewood and other infested ash wood products. By moving infested firewood, this invasive species is transported quickly across large areas. Help prevent the spread of pests: Don't Move Firewood.

Federal regulatory measures prohibit the movement of specific materials including any ash material and firewood of all species from specific areas of Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Anyone violating these restrictions is subject to a fine and/or prosecution.

The Importance of Ash Trees

Ash trees are an important part of Canada's landscape. They can be found on city streets, woodlots, and in forests across Canada. Not only do ash trees contribute to a city's aesthetic value, but ash wood is used to make furniture, hardwood floors, baseball bats, tool handles, electric guitars, hockey sticks and other materials that require high strength and resilience. Learn how to identify ash trees.

If there is a high presence of the emerald ash borer in your area, and many ash trees have been destroyed by the beetle, try replanting with recommended alternatives to ash trees.

Life Cycle of EAB

Immature emerald ash borers feed on tree leaves, resulting in abnormal slits in the leaves. Their eggs are laid on the bark of branches of the tree on which they establish themselves. Their larvae bore through the bark, feeding on the inner bark and sapwood, eventually forming flat, 6 mm, S-shaped galleries which are filled with a fine brownish coating. The larva can grow from 2 to 5 cm long and the width of the S-shaped gallery increases throughout its life span.

Life cycle of Emerald Ash Borer: eggs are laid in clusters on bark, larva hatches and bores into tree, larva becomes pupa under bark, adult beetle emerges from tree.

Sign up to receive email updates on EAB Email Notification Services.

Date modified: