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EMERALD ASH BORER CONFIRMED IN FIVE COUNTIES IN SOUTHERN IOWA


For Immediate Release:

 Monday, Dec. 15, 2014

 Contacts:

Dustin Vande Hoef, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, 515-281-3375

Kevin Baskins, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 515-725-8288

Laura Sternweis, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, 515-294-0775

EMERALD ASH BORER CONFIRMED IN FIVE COUNTIES IN SOUTHERN IOWA

Larvae discovered in Appanoose, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion, and Monroe counties; brings total to eighteen counties with confirmed infestations

DES MOINES – Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been positively identified in Appanoose, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion and Monroe counties in southern Iowa. EAB kills all ash tree species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America.

The discovery of this series of infestations started when forestry contractor found many dead ash trees with heavy woodpecker flecking while completing a timber stand improvement project on privately-owned woodland on the far eastern edge of Lucas County.  The infestation appears to have been in place for several years. The larvae were located only 3/8 of a mile from Monroe County.  EAB team members continued to examine trees in the area and additional larvae were found in ash tree on public property in Monroe County, near the Lucas site.

In Marion County larvae were found in a heavily-flecked ash tree on State property on the edge of Marysville.  In Appanoose County larvae were found in a tree along train tracks in Moravia.  And, in Mahaska County larvae were collected from a tree on private property on the north side of Eddyville.

Eighteen Iowa counties now have confirmed EAB infestations.  A statewide quarantine, issued on Feb. 4, 2014, remains in place and restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states.

“Woodpecker-flecked ash trees are a great calling card when investigating an insect infestation. The damage symptoms on ash trees are very visible during the winter months. Woodpeckers feed on more than EAB, but when we find woodpeckers focusing on ash trees in an area, it’s a red flag that begs for further investigation,” said State Entomologist Robin Pruisner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

“We urge Iowans to be vigilant, reporting suspicious symptoms in Counties that are not yet known to be infested to a member of the Iowa EAB Team. And we continue to urge citizens to keep firewood local, don’t pack a pest to a new area,” said Mike Kintner, IDALS EAB and Gypsy Moth Coordinator.   

The Iowa EAB Team provides EAB diagnostic assistance to landowners and includes officials from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA Forest Service.

The Iowa EAB Team strongly cautions Iowans not to transport firewood across county or state lines, since the movement of firewood throughout Iowa or to other states poses the greatest threat to quickly spread EAB and other plant pests. Most EAB infestations in the United States have been started by people unknowingly moving infested firewood, nursery plants or sawmill logs. The adult beetle also can fly short distances, approximately 2 to 5 miles.

The next window for preventive treatment measures (trunk injection, soil injection, soil drench, or basal trunk sprays) will open early spring 2015 (mid-April to mid-May).  If a landowner is interested in protecting a valuable and healthy ash tree within 15 miles of a known infestation, they should use the winter months to have landscape and tree service companies bid on work, and these bids can be reviewed before next spring. 

Please contact Iowa EAB Team members to have suspicious looking trees checked in counties not currently known to be infested. 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 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. Please contact any of the following members of the Iowa EAB Team for further information:


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