EMERALD ASH BORER CONFIRMED IN LOUISA COUNTY, IOWA

Written by Theresa Rose on June 2, 2016

DES MOINES – Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been positively identified from a tree in central rural Louisa County. This exotic pest kills several species of ash and is considered one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America. EAB is responsible for the death of tens of millions of ash trees in the 26 states it has been detected. Iowa now has 32 counties with confirmed infestations.

 

EAB is a small, metallic-green beetle that is about ½ inch long. The larvae stage of this wood-boring insect tunnel under the bark of ash trees, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients, ultimately causing the tree to die. EAB infested ash trees include thinning or dying branches in the top of a tree, evidence of woodpecker activity, S-shaped feeding galleries under dead or splitting bark, D-shaped exit holes, and water sprouts (along the trunk and main branches).

 

“This find in Louisa County fills in the map of infested counties along Iowa’s eastern border; only two counties remain undetected for EAB (Clayton and Jackson),” said Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship EAB and gypsy moth coordinator. “EAB dispersal is very limited by natural movement, but when people are unknowingly transporting EAB around in things like firewood, you never know where that next detection may be.”

 

Federal quarantines are in place to restrict the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states. The Iowa EAB Team urges Iowans to use locally sourced firewood, burning it in the same county where it was purchased. Firewood is not only a means of transportation for EAB, but other tree-killing pests as well.

 

At this calendar date, the treatment window for soil-applied preventive treatment measures (soil injection, soil drench, or granular application) has ended. Basal trunk sprays can be made until mid-June and trunk injections can be done now through the end of August, provided there is good ground moisture. Landowners interested in protecting a valuable and healthy ash tree within 15 miles of a known infestation, should have landscape or tree service companies bid on work and schedule a treatment.

 

Please contact Iowa EAB Team members to have suspicious looking trees checked in counties not currently known to be infested. Team members include officials from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA Forest Service.

 

The State of Iowa will continue to track the movement of EAB on a county-by-county basis. Before a county can be officially recognized as infested, proof of a reproducing population is needed and an EAB must be collected by a member of the Iowa EAB Team and verified by USDA entomologists.

 

To learn more about EAB and other pests that are threatening Iowa’s tree population, please visit www.IowaTreePests.com<http://www.iowatreepests.com/>. Please contact any of the following members of the Iowa EAB Team for further information:

 

 

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