This makes me wonder about the effectiveness of quarantines in areas with heavy beetle infestation. How often do beetles travel by inadvertent hitchhiking even when no ash is moved? The pest is new and much of the public would not be able to identify it. The average person might flick a strange insect out their window without realizing the implications.
Quarantines for the Emerald Ash Borer have been mostly ineffective. Once a beetle is found in a new area, it spreads more quickly than predicted from natural migration. It is possible for beetles to land in or on a vehicle, travel a few or many miles and fly off. This does not involve the movement of ash, nursery stock or firewood. While the spread might be more rapid without quarantines, hitchhiking by the beetles could thwart the best planned quarantine.
It is hoped that quarantines will slow the spread of emerald ash borer to give more time for new solutions to be developed. It still makes sense to quarantine ash products to slow the spread of emerald ash borer. Perhaps new solutions can be developed before it becomes ubiquitous in North America. Inadvertent hitchhiking by the beetles may be adding to the rate of spread and decreasing the time for new solutions to be developed.