Emerald ash borer traps deployedby Conrad Wilson, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Traps will start going up next week to try to slow the spread of the emerald ash borer.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture will hang about 6,500 traps in ash trees around the state — that's 2,000 more than last year.
The infestation by the emerald ash borer beetle is slow moving, but has killed millions of trees around the country, said Geir Friisoe director of the plant protection division at the department.
The beetle was first detected in Minnesota in 2009, but Friisoe said it probably arrived around ten years earlier.
Friisoe said the plan is to detect places where the insect is making inroads. Four counties, including Hennepin and Ramsey, won't have traps because the ash borer infestation is already well documented in those counties.
"Within Minnesota, it's probably several hundred trees in the metro area that have been removed because they were infested or very close to an infested area," Friisoe said.
The traps themselves are purple containers to be hung in trees to attract and capture the beetle.
"We're not going to cure this. We're not going to stop it," Friisoe said. But we believe we can certainly slow it down quite a bit and at least buy us some time for other management options."