PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Strange purple contraptions are springing up in trees along roadways in southeastern Pennsylvania.   They’re deep purple in color and look like box kites.

But it’s not a prank or an art project.

Jean Kummer, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, says they’re called “purple panel traps,” and they’re part of a survey to determine how widespread the infestation of emerald ash borers is in certain areas.

“They just attract them.  The color and the oils that they put on attract the emerald ash borer, and that way we can determine if they’re in that specific area,” she explains.

The borers are killing ash trees across the commonwealth.  The hardwood is used to make, among other things, baseball bats, and is important to the state’s lumber industry.

Kummer says the purple panels will stay up through August, and then officials will decide where the problem is and what action is needed to stop the pests.

Reported by Lynne Adkins, KYW Newsradio 1060

Top Content On CBSPhilly