Action is being taken to try and prevent emerald ash borers from wreaking havoc on trees in the city.
Two traps are being set up in the city, reported Director of Leisure Services Cheryl DeNeire to council Monday. Those were being set up free of charge on Wednesday by a division of food and drug to test for the presence of emerald ash borer beetles.
The trees chosen for the traps will be older and of a certain size and condition. The traps are little boxes that attract the beetles if they are present.
“It’s just one of the ways of monitoring activity,” said DeNeire. They are also going up the tops of treetops and pulling back the barks to look for beetle activity.
While two traps seem like a low number, there are only 20 traps placed in Saskatoon, which is much larger.
The hope is they won’t find any emerald ash borer beetles in North Battleford yet. But the beetles have been a problem to the east in Manitoba, and it is confirmed they have now moved into Saskatchewan.
DeNeire reported Regina is seeing activity with emerald ash borers already.
“It’s an important fact that it has hit the province,” DeNeire said.
The beetles pose a grave threat to ash trees. In a report last month DeNeire reported that that a third of Winnipeg’s ash trees have been lost to the disease.
Once these beetles infest a tree it will die within two or three years. About 30 per cent of North Battleford’s urban forest inventory consists of ash trees.
Mayor Ryan Bater welcomed the placement of traps to deal with emerald ash borer beetles.
“We’ve been hearing a lot more about that bug and how relentless and unforgiving it is to ash trees,” said Bater.