A pest management biologist for the province says it's inevitable that the Emerald Ash Borer will spread to other parts of Manitoba over time. The pest, which is highly efficient in killing ash trees, has been found in Winnipeg. Fiona Ross says the spread of the ash borer will be very slow unless people transport infected ash firewood.
"It will spread because the beetle does fly. But if there is a food source, so if there is an Ash tree close by, it's not going to be spreading long distances. For it to spread long distances, it's through the movement of firewood or other forest products."
The province believes the Emerald Ash Borer got into Winnipeg through the transport of infected firewood brought in from Ontario. Ross expects it will take some years for the pest to spread beyond the perimeter but it is only a matter of time.
"We're just trying to contain it currently and slow the spread of it through Manitoba. We try to encourage people not to move firewood, we've been doing that for quite a few years now because that is one of the number one reasons that invasive species do long jumps."
She is urging people to plant a diversity of trees so that when the Emerald Ash Borer comes and destroys your ash trees, you will still have others. Ross notes there is an insecticide available for the ash borer but it is controlled by Health Canada and can only be used within a known infestation area.