5:01 pm
Thu July 16, 2009

Purple Prisms Generate Speculation

Western Kentucky – If you're driving along the Wendell Ford Parkway or any number of Western Kentucky highways, you might see some odd looking purple prisms hanging in trees along the roadside. Jacque Day has more on what is perplexing many motorists.

The structures have generated dozens of calls to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and area police agencies. Kentucky State Entomologist Dr. John J. Obrycki says these are traps put out to monitor the spread of the emerald ash borer.

"Based on what we find in the traps, it allows us then to determine, do we need to try to reduce the movement of the logs, movement of ash trees, from a particular area where the emerald ash borer is now found."

The emerald ash borer is a small, dark green metallic beetle that attacks all species of ash trees. Dr. Obrycki and his researchers at the University of Kentucky placed as many as 5,000 of the insect traps across Kentucky, with hundreds estimated to be along the Western Kentucky highways. The tentative plan is to remove the traps by August.