An invasive species from another part of the world can enter into the United States and cause problems many ways. Preventative steps are necessary to keep these unwanted pests in their own lands. One way to eliminate the spread of new infestations is to heat treat pallets to help cull insects at the docks.
Many times, there are pests hitching a ride on the wooden pallets or crates that shippers use to transport many products all over the United States. One of these invasive pests that have made its way into our country with the wooden shipping materials is the Emerald Ash Borer. Over the span of the next ten years, this tiny little creature is projected to inflict over a billion dollars a year in damages to trees and property. There are now international standards that require that shipping pallets get heat treatment before being imported. Although the infestation has already found its way into the United States, these practices are in place to prevent the arrival of any new pests.
These destructive bugs have been infesting Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ontario. Since the first discovery in Detroit Michigan, this pest has killed millions of trees. Emerald Ash Borers are originally from Southeast Asia and Eastern Russia. This particular species of pest has a lack of predators in the United States, and therefore they reproduce and spread very quickly. These particular borers feed on the water supply of the trees. The larvae living in the tree use the trees water and nutrients to grow. Eventually, the tree no longer gets water or nutrients to its branches and leaves and it dies.
Since the implementation of the heat treatment of the incoming shipping freight, the wood borer infestation has dropped up to 52%. Although the treatments of these shipping items are expensive, the savings amounts to billions of dollars. This treatment not only saves the environment, money, and holds ecological benefits but it also produces a pallet that can now be recycled or re-used.
The Ash tree is a valuable part of the United States forests and ecosystem. Not only do they help to sustain mixed forests, but also manufacturers use them in the production of many items. Protecting these trees from this invasive Emerald Ash Borer by heat-treating the pallets that are coming into the country is the best preventative practice to eradicate this out of control pest.