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Russell Martin checks an EAB trap last summer.
Russell Martin checks an EAB trap last summer.

Story 2.0: purple boxes part of losing battle to save ash trees

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The purple boxes are up on ash trees again this summer. They're traps for the emerald ash borer, an invasive bug that has devastated ash stands in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. In this state, the insect's been confined to western New York. Today we revisit the fight against the emerald ash borer. David Sommerstien has more.

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Incidences of the emerald ash borer [credit: USDA]

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The purple boxes are up on ash trees again this summer in an effort to prevent an infestation by the emerald ash borer, an invasive bug that has devastated ash stands in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. The insect's presence in New York has so far been confined to the western part of the state. A second infestation was found this summer in Cattaraugus County after the emerald ash borer was first found nearby last year. That area has since been quarantined from wood shipments. Meanwhile environment officials have hung thousands of the purple traps across western New York. Thousands more have been hung here in northern New York because the emerald ash borer has made its way into southern Ontario and Quebec. Today we revisit the fight against the emerald ash borer. Last summer, David Sommerstein joined DEC forest technician Russell Martin as he set and checked the purple traps. It turns out the purple traps don't work very well--they're effective only 5 % of the time. The DEC's Russell Biss is coordinating the efforts to fight the bug in western New York. He told David Sommerstein that researchers are working on plan B.

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