Emerald ash borer found in Rock County, public landMinnesota and Wisconsin are on high alert to watch for emerald ash borers.
Minnesota and Wisconsin are on high alert to watch for emerald ash borers. Last week, one of the insects was found in the city of Janesville. And, for the first time, emerald ash borers have been confirmed on state-owned land in Wisconsin. Infested trees were found in the Richard Bong State Recreation Area in Kenosha County. The tree-killing insects have been found in 12 Wisconsin counties – Brown, Crawford, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Vernon, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha.
But now is the time of year when another insect, the Japanese beetle, is active and can be mistaken for emerald ash borer, according to University of Minnesota Extension entomologist Jeff Hahn.
"Not every green insect is emerald ash borer," Hahn said. "Japanese beetles are very common in the Twin Cites as well as in areas to the south, southeast, and some central counties. They are often mistaken for emerald ash borer."
Unlike the destructive emerald ash borer, which threatens the health of the state's nearly 1 billion ash trees, Japanese beetles do not usually cause lasting damage.
To view a photo chart that compares emerald ash borer with the Japanese beetle and other look-a-likes, visit www.extension.umn.edu/go/1074. Emerald ash borer is a slender insect about one-third to a half-inch long. Its body is widest just behind the head and then it gradually tapers back to tip of the abdomen.
"What really stands out about emerald ash borer is its bright, iridescent green color," said Hahn. "And if it lifts its wings up, you will see the body underneath is a purplish-magenta color."
By contrast, Japanese beetles are broadly oval, about three-eighths of an inch long with a bright emerald green head and upper body. Japanese beetles also have shiny bronze-colored wing covers. An easy to way to identify a Japanese beetle is by the five small white tufts of hair along each side of the abdomen and two larger white tufts on the tip of the abdomen. Other insects do not have those spots, according to Hahn.
To learn more about emerald ash borer, visit www.emeraldashborer.wi.gov. To learn more about Japanese beetles, visit www.extension.umn.edu/go/1075.