OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 16, 2013) - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of the emerald ash borer (EAB) in Kawartha Lakes. The emerald ash borer was discovered on two private properties off the Sandy Beach Road in Fenelon Falls.
Movement restrictions, which prohibit the movement of all ash materials-such as logs, branches and wood chips-and all species of firewood from the affected site, have been put in place. Property owners have been notified of these restrictions. Further regulatory measures will be considered once all survey work has been completed for the year.
The presence of EAB has now been confirmed in 32 Ontario counties, and in seven areas in the province of Quebec. Although EAB does not pose a risk to human health, it is a highly destructive beetle. It has already killed millions of ash trees in Ontario, Quebec and the United States, and poses a major economic and environmental threat to urban and forested areas of North America.
On April 1, 2014, the Agency will consolidate most of the regulated areas into one large area in Ontario and Quebec. This large area will include Highways 400, 401, 416 and 417 in Ontario and Highways 15, 20, 40 and 50 in Quebec.
This approach takes into account the CFIA's current understanding of the distribution of EAB and will more effectively slow the spread of this pest to other parts of these provinces and to the rest of Canada. For more information on this decision, please refer to The Pest Risk Management Document - Regulated Areas for Emerald Ash Borer (link).
The Agency will continue its surveillance, regulatory, enforcement and communications activities across Canada, and the focus will now be placed on preventing EAB from moving out of the large consolidated area to areas where it is not currently known to be present. The remainder of 2013 will be a transition to this new approach.
Also, as part of the long term strategy to manage EAB, the CFIA has approved the release of two stingless wasps as new biological control agents to combat the spread of EAB. One wasp that has now been released in limited areas in southwestern Ontario by Natural Resources Canada is Tetrastichus planipennisi.
EAB can spread rapidly if it is moved by people. The public can play a key part in helping to control the spread of EAB by not moving potentially infested materials such as firewood or any ash materials such as logs, branches, nursery stock, chips or other ash wood.
The CFIA continues to work with federal, provincial and municipal governments towards slowing the spread of EAB. We all have a responsibility to protect Canada's forests.
Additional information is available on the CFIA website at www.inspection.gc.ca/pests or by calling 1-866-463-6017.