That 'purple thing' catches ash borers


MANCHESTER — Walking along the Flatlanders Pass trail in the Equinox Preserve, you might ask yourself: "What is that purple thing hanging in the tree?"

As a sign next to the trail says, it is a sticky trap that the United States Department of Agriculture officials and others are using to identify where the invasive insect, emerald ash borer (EAB) is located.

"The emerald ash borer is a small beetle that feeds on ash trees. It is very hard to detect. Vermont will lose 99 percent of our ash trees to this pest," the sign says. "The trap uses a natural attractant to lure EAB and is coated with a non-toxic sticky material. Beetles stick to the trap once they touch it. The traps will let us determine if EAB is in the area and help local communities plan for the pest's arrival.

"The trap will be in the tree for the summer. It will not bring EAB into an area that is not already infested. The traps pose no risk to people, pets or wildlife, however the non-toxic glue is very sticky."

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