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USDA Revises Heat Treatment Schedule for Emerald Ash Borer

The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced a revision to the heat treatment schedule for ash logs and all hardwood firewood moving interstate from an emerald ash borer (EAB) quarantined area.

APHIS policy is to revise regulatory treatments to make them less stringent when scientific evidence supports the action. Therefore, effective immediately, the revised heat treatment schedule requires ash logs and firewood to be heat treated to a minimum core temperature of 60.0 degrees C (140 F) for 60 minutes. Previously, the heat treatment schedule was 71.1 degrees C for 75 minutes.

When an APHIS-certified heat treatment facility is located in an EAB quarantined area and other quarantine pests that also require treatment are present, the more stringent heat treatment schedule should be used for ash logs and hardwood firewood moving interstate from the facility.

The new treatment schedule prevents the introduction or dissemination of the EAB within the United States and provides flexibility to industry. APHIS will work with state and local agencies, as well as industry and other private entities, to implement the new treatment schedules.

EAB, a wood boring beetle native to China and eastern Asia, is responsible for the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees throughout the United States. The pest was first detected in July 2002 in southeastern Michigan. Today 14 other states are known to have EAB infestations, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Federal and state quarantines, totaling 270,000 square miles, are in place to mitigate its spread. Go to www.StopTheBeetle.info for more information.

The treatment manual is available online at www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/index.shtml.