You are here: NRS Home / Featured Research / Emerald Ash Borer Control

Emerald Ash Borer Control

January 2013

From the time emerald ash borer was identified in Michigan in 2002, Northern Research Station scientists have been studying all angles of the insect, from its life cycle to guidelines for biological control to techniques for restoring forests devastated by EAB. This month, we highlight some of the scientists, research projects, and partnerships involved in combatting this non-native forest pest.

Additional Information

Emerald ash borerVisit the Northern Research Station's emerald ash borer website for more information on the control and management of emerald ash borer.


Featured Scientists

Rob Venette

Research Biologist Rob Venette examines an ash branchOne of the biggest questions people have about newly discovered invasive species is “where will these insects spread and is my state susceptible?” Research biologist Rob Venette works to answer that question. Because insects are cold-blooded, the temperature of the environment has a major impact on where they might thrive and where they will not survive. Venette’s work testing the cold hardiness of invasive forest insects as well as species used for biocontrol of invasives is helping the Forest Service and others to predict and prevent invasive species from becoming widespread in North America.

Find out more on Rob's scientist profile


Leah Bauer

Research entomologist Leah Bauer prepares to examine a treeResearch entomologist Leah Bauer began studying the biology, natural enemies, and population dynamics of the emerald ash borer (EAB) in the U.S. and in China in 2002.  Her findings supported the need to introduce insect natural enemies or parasitoids, which co-evolved with EAB in China, to infested ash stands in the U.S.  This long-term and sustainable approach to managing invasive species is known as biological control.   The results of her extensive research on EAB and two Chinese parasitoid species led to the USDA EAB Biocontrol Program in 2009.   As a result, these EAB biocontrol agents have now been released in most states with known EAB-infestations.  Bauer, in collaboration with other USDA and university researchers, continues to expand her research to include studies on parasitoid establishment, spread, and impact on EAB populations and ash health and recovery.

Find out more on Leah's scientist profile


Therese Poland

Research Entomologist Therese Poland sets up an EAB trapResearch entomologist Therese Poland’s research aims to investigate many aspects of EAB biology and management from how well it disperses to how it finds host trees and mates to defense mechanisms of trees and protection of trees with systemic insecticides.  With the goal of developing tools for detection and control, Poland is evaluating host and insect-produced volatiles that are attractive to EAB and can be used as lures in artificial traps. She is developing new trap designs based on EAB visual and olfactory responses and flight behavior.  She is working with others to compare nutrition and defense compounds of susceptible North American ash trees and resistant Asian species in order to develop resistant trees for planting and restoration.   She is also determining the toxicity of various systemic insecticides to EAB and evaluating them for tree protection and control.   

Find out more on Therese's scientist profile

Featured Product

Biological control (or biocontrol) is the practice of importing and releasing natural enemies from a pest’s native range to control populations in the area of introduction.

Emerald Ash Borer Biological Control Release and Recovery Guidelines

Featured Partnerships

photo of an emerald ash borer on leadNorthern Research Station scientists are working on many aspects of emerald ash borer research, and partnerships are amplifying our capabilities. Access to partners’ expertise and facilities augment our own work, including research on:

Forest Service research partnerships support regional and local efforts to develop and evaluate methods to manage EAB in the eastern U.S.  Leah Bauer and Therese Poland work closely with USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and researchers with USDA Agricultural Research Service, University of Massachusetts, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, University of Michigan, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, and Wayne State University, as well as private landowners and managers of federal, state, county, city, township and conservation lands.  Rob Venette also works with APHIS, scientists at the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, several cities and the state’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.