The early detection of populations of a forest pest is important to begin initial control efforts, minimizing the risk of further spread and impact. Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) is an introduced pestiferous insect of ash (Fraxinus spp. L.) in North America. The effectiveness of trapping techniques, including girdled trap trees with sticky bands and purple prism traps, was tested in areas with low- and high-density populations of emerald ash borer. At both densities, large girdled trap trees (>30 cm diameter at breast height [dbh], 1.37 m in height) captured a higher rate of adult beetles per day than smaller trees. However, the odds of detecting emerald ash borer increased as the dbh of the tree increased by 1 cm for trap trees 15–25 cm dbh. Ash species used for the traps differed in the number of larvae per cubic centimeter of phloem. Emerald ash borer larvae were more likely to be detected below, compared with above, the crown base of the trap tree. While larval densities within a trap tree were related to the species of ash, adult capture rates were not. These results provide support for focusing state and regional detection programs on the detection of emerald ash borer adults. If bark peeling for larvae is incorporated into these programs, peeling efforts focused below the crown base may increase likelihood of identifying new infestations while reducing labor costs. Associating traps with larger trees (≈25 cm dbh) may increase the odds of detecting low-density populations of emerald ash borer, possibly reducing the time between infestation establishment and implementing management strategies.
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