Plant pests including the emerald ash borer can pose a significant risk to agriculture as well as natural, cultivated and urban forest reserves. The International standard that requires the heat treatment of wood pallets is ISPM-15. ISPM-15 is currently being enforced in almost every major importing country in the world. Plastic pallets are inert to infestation and exempt from these regulations.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a very small but very destructive beetle. Metallic green in color, its slender body measures 1/2 inch in length and 1/8 inch wide. The average adult beetle can easily fit on a penny.
EAB is an invasive species wood boring beetle, native to China and eastern Asia, which targets ash trees. EAB probably arrived in North America hidden in wood packing materials commonly used to ship consumer and other goods.
It was first detected in July 2002 in southeastern Michigan and has since been found in Ohio, Indiana, Maryland and Illinois. In Virginia, ash nursery stock with EAB exit holes and galleries was discovered but no actual lifestage was found. The trees were removed and the area is being monitored.
For additional information, please review:
Emerald Ash Borer Source and Photo Credit
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) | Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).