DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- An invasive beetle that kills ash trees, the emerald ash borer (EAB), has been confirmed in Ringgold County, making it the 52nd county in Iowa where the insect has been found.
The recent EAB infestation was discovered by a tree service that reported suspect ash trees to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Insect larvae were collected from this rural site west of Tingley, and positively identified as EAB.
“We are already up to 13 new counties confirmed with EAB this year,” said Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship EAB and gypsy moth coordinator. “As we continue to track EAB’s spread across the state, people are encouraged to report suspect trees in counties that have not yet been declared positive.”
EAB is native to Asia and was first identified in the U.S. in 2002 and in Iowa in 2010 in Allamakee County. Much of the pests’ spread can be attributed to humans inadvertently transporting it to new areas under the bark of firewood, logs and tree debris.
Infected ash trees display canopy dieback, S-shaped feeding grooves beneath bark, D-shaped exit holes, water sprouts along the trunk and main branches and bark loss.
The one half inch beetle is a metallic green color and can be seen in the summer. Larvae burrow through the inner layers of bark. EAB-infected trees usually die between two to four year.
Current treatment includes soil-applied preventative measures, basal trunk sprays and trunk injections.
A federal quarantine, enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, prohibiting the movement of all hardwood firewood and ash articles out of Iowa is still in effect.
Questions and options for homeowners should be directed to the City’s website at cedar-rapids.org/EAB. Additional resources for information about Emerald Ash Borer are:
The Emerald Ash Borer Information: http://www.emeraldAshborer.info
The Department of Natural Resources: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Environment/Forestry/ForestHealth/EmeraldAshBorer.aspx
The Iowa State University Extension Service: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/pme/EmeraldAshBorer.html