Beetle Busting 101

In your travels around the state in the summer you have inevitably encountered a purple “box” hanging in a tree along the road. These traps are used to detect the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a non-native beetle that just like the Asian longhorned beetle and hemlock woolly adelgid, was introduced to the United States from Asia and has devastated forests throughout the U.S. While the hemlock woolly adelgid was detected in Windham County in 2007, the other two pests have not yet arrived in Vermont. Maples, ash, hemlocks, and other host species that are threatened by these forest pests comprise nearly two-thirds of the trees in Vermont’s woods. Their introduction could have devastating impacts on the forest products industry, tourism, water quality, streetscapes and wildlife habitat.

Beetle Busting 101 Activity

Additional Curricula and activities available to help with this project:

Vermont Invasives Website A website dedicated to invasives tree pests and terrestrial plants. The website also serves as a portal for citizen engagement around invasives.

Beetle Busters 101 Presentation: An informative powerpoint presentation on Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer.

Natural Inquirer lesson plans, puzzles, mask patterns, and more.

Vermont Invasives website is a one-stop-shop for information concerning anything invasive from plants to pests in Vermont, including educational materials.

Asian Longhorned Beetle information and activity guide

Emerald Ash Borer information and activity guides: In-depth curriculum guide for 5th grade: Emerald Ash Borer Resources for Educators

Website with resources and activity guide for younger students: Stop the Beetle

Vital Results Standards (Grades 1-8)
Reading: Reading Strategies 1.1 (a, b, c, g, o)
Writing: Writing conventions 1.6 (a, aa), Narratives 1.9 (a, b, c, d, f)
Information Literacy:
Research 1.19 (a, b, c, f)
Change: Continuity and Change 4.5 (a, b), Understanding Place 4.6 (a, b, c)

Fields of Knowledge Standards (Grades 1-8)
Mathematical Understanding: Arithmetic, Number and Operational Concepts 7.6 (a, aa, bb, g, h) Applications 7.10 (a, b, c, d, cc)
Design and Technology: Natural Resources 7.16 (a, b, c, bb, cc)

Emerald Ash Borer

We need your class’ help to survey the trees on Vermont school grounds and protect our trees from these destructive insects. The more people we have looking for these insects, the better our chances are for a quick response when (or if) the pests arrive in Vermont. Students will learn about tree identification, conservation, and general ecology. They will also learn how to identify specific pests of concern and various survey techniques used in the field by foresters, technicians, and citizen volunteers. A trained professional is available to talk to your class one on one about these forest pests and conduct a tree survey with the students. Resources for further understanding of forest pests and conducting your own tree survey are available upon request. If interested or for more information, please contact Gwen Kozlowski, Community Outreach Professional, VT Urban and Community Forestry Program, UVM Extension, at 802.656.6646 or by email at:

In recognition of the students’ participation in a tree survey, your school will receive a certificate verifying that your school grounds have been surveyed for the Asian Longhorned Beetle and the Emerald Ash Borer, and each student who participates will receive a Vermont Beetle Buster patch and temporary tattoos of the invasive insects to show that they helped in the conservation efforts for Vermont’s trees.