What are those purple boxes hanging in the trees?

By WBNG News

What are those purple boxes hanging in the trees?

June 23, 2011 Updated Jun 23, 2011 at 2:12 PM EST

Owego, N.Y. (WBNG Binghamton) -- Have you noticed newly hung purple triangular boxes in area ash trees? Wondering what they are?

Here's your answer: Emerald Ash Borer monitoring traps.

The purple traps have been hung by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and are for monitoring only, not for control. The traps are hung along commonly used roads, in campgrounds, and around sawmills through a national monitoring program.

The Emerald Ash Borer is a small green beetle whose larvae feed on the living tissue under the bark. They are non-native and therefore do not have any predators to keep their populations in check.

Originating from Asia, this invasive insect was first found around Detroit, Michigan in 2001. Since then, Emerald Ash Borers have spread to 15 states and two provinces, killing tens of millions of ash trees. None of our native ash trees are safe. As of 2010, New York has six known infestations affecting seven counties, as well as two infestations just across the border in Canada.

There are no known EAB infestations in Tioga County or any of the immediate neighboring counties. But, now is the time to make thoughtful decisions about managing woodland, park, yard, and street ash trees.

Quick EAB Facts:

• It attacks only ash trees

• Adult beetles are metallic green and about half-inch long.

• Adults leave a 1/8” D-shaped exit hole in the bark when they emerge in late spring.

• Woodpeckers like EAB larvae; heavy woodpecker damage on ash trees may be a sign of infestation.

• One of the factors that has led to the rapid spread of the EAB is through the movement of infested ash firewood. EAB is one of the reasons to “Don’t Move Firewood.”