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Building double-decker traps for early detection of emerald ash borer

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McCullough, Deborah G.; Poland, Therese M.

Year Published



Journal of Visualized Experiments


Emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire), the most destructive forest insect to have invaded North America, has killed hundreds of millions of forest and landscape ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees. Several artificial trap designs to attract and capture EAB beetles have been developed to detect, delineate, and monitor infestations. Double-decker (DD) traps consist of two corrugated plastic prisms, one green and one purple, attached to a 3 m tall polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe supported by a t-post. The green prism at the top of the PVC pipe is baited with cis-3- hexenol, a compound produced by ash foliage. Surfaces of both prisms are coated with sticky insect glue to capture adult EAB beetles. Doubledecker traps should be placed near ash trees but in open areas, exposed to sun. Double-decker trap construction and placement are presented here, along with a summary of field experiments demonstrating the efficacy of DD traps in capturing EAB beetles. In a recent study in sites with relatively low EAB densities, double-decker traps captured significantly more EAB than green or purple prism traps or green funnel traps, all of which are designed to be suspended from a branch in the canopy of ash trees. A greater percentage of double decker traps were positive, i.e., captured at least one EAB, than the prism traps or funnel traps that were hung in ash tree canopies.


McCullough, Deborah G.; Poland, Therese M. 2017. Building double-decker traps for early detection of emerald ash borer. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 128: e55252. [video].

Last updated on: November 28, 2017