The Chattanooga Department of Public Works is taking preventative measures to prepare for potentially hazardous pests.
Public Works, along with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry is placing purple and green traps in ash trees in 16 areas around Chattanooga.
The traps are meant to identify and study the Emerald Ash Boer which is potentially dangerous to the trees. The traps lure in the pests with a chemical pheromone which is harmless to humans and pets.
"These traps are part of an early warning system which allows us to learn when this destructive pest arrives in our area. At that time we'll begin administering protective inoculations to prevent our high value ash trees from being killed," says City Forester Gene Hyde.
The Emerald Ash Boer was first detected in Detroit in 2002. The insect has been blamed for the death of 50 million ash trees and threatens the health of more than seven billion ash trees in North America.
The ash trees are the only ones impacted by the pest.
The traps will be checked every three to four weeks throughout the spring and summer.