Sign wrapped around an ash tree warning of potential emerald ash borer damage

A tree-killing beetle known as the emerald ash borer was recently found for the first time in Stanly County North Carolina. While it was the first time the insect had been found in the county, it has been previously found in 62 other counties. Known for short as the “EAB”, it is a metallic-green beetle. The insect tunnels in trees feed on the tissue underneath the bark and ultimately kill the tree.

Additionally, the adult beetles lay eggs inside the bark leading to a faster death. The NC Forest Service says signs of the beetles include: thinning and dying crowns; increased woodpecker activity that causes the tree to look like it is losing patches of bark; small, 1/8-inch D-shaped exit holes where adult beetles emerged from the trees; galleries on the inside of the bark; cream-colored larvae; and, epicormic sprouting or sprouting from the main stem of the tree.

The insects typically infest ash trees and native white fringetrees. They’re usually the most active from late spring to early summer.The cause of EAB spread tends to trace back to human activities. This includes transporting firewood.

Other counties in North Carolina that have detected the tree-killing beetle include:

  • Alamance
  • Alexander
  • Alleghany
  • Ashe
  • Avery
  • Buncombe
  • Burke
  • Cabarrus
  • Caldwell
  • Caswell
  • Catawba
  • Chatham
  • Cherokee
  • Clay
  • Cleveland
  • Davidson
  • Davie
  • Durham
  • Forsyth
  • Franklin
  • Gaston
  • Graham
  • Granville
  • Guilford
  • Halifax
  • Haywood
  • Henderson
  • Iredell
  • Jackson
  • Johnston
  • Lenoir
  • Lincoln
  • Macon
  • Madison
  • McDowell
  • Mecklenburg
  • Mitchell
  • Montgomery
  • Nash
  • Orange
  • Person
  • Pitt
  • Polk
  • Randolph
  • Rockingham
  • Rowan
  • Rutherford
  • Stanly
  • Stokes
  • Surry
  • Swain
  • Transylvania
  • Union
  • Vance
  • Wake
  • Warren
  • Watauga
  • Wayne
  • Wilkes
  • Wilson
  • Yadkin
  • Yancey

Source NC Forest Service


GALLERY: List of Animals Native to North Carolina

As found by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission