Updated: Ash tree-killing insect found in 5 more Iowa counties including Floyd & Howard

Des Moines, Iowa – Five more counties are now confirmed to have emerald ash borer (EAB) infestations, putting the total at 50 of the 99 counties in the state which have the destructive pest. Iowa Department of Agriculture E-A-B coordinator, Mike Kitner says the insect that kills ash trees is now confirmed in Floyd, Howard, Benton,  Buena Vista and Warren County.  Although it’s been making its way across the state for the last seven years, Kitner says people haven’t seemed to become complacent about watching for new infestations.

He expects the remaining 44 counties which haven’t confirmed an infestation yet will be on the lookout for the signs in their ash trees.

The insect that burrows under bark started its trip across the state in eastern Iowa, and he says the scars of its presence are visible.

You can spot a tree that’s been attacked by leaves that begin dyeing at the top and move downward. There are D-shaped exit holes and water sprouts along the trunk and main branches, and bark that is stripped off as a result of woodpeckers hunting for E-A-B larvae.  Some of the trees are being saved by various treatments. Kitner advises you to do a little research if you have a tree you want to treat.

He says all 99 counties are eventually going to see an infestation, but you can help slow it down by keeping firewood local.  Moving firewood is the fastest way for the beetle to spread from one area of the state to another.

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Des Moines, Iowa (AP) – State agricultural officials say an insect that’s killed millions of ash trees has been found in five more Iowa counties, bringing the total to 50.

Officials said Thursday that the emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Benton, Buena Vista, Floyd, Howard and Warren counties.

Infected trees usually lose leaves at the top of the canopy and the die-off spreads downward. The trees usually die within four years.

The insects have killed tens of millions of ash trees and have been confirmed in 30 states. They are native to Asia and were first reported in the U.S. in Michigan in 2002. The insects were first detected in Iowa in 2010.

A federal quarantine restricts movement of hardwood firewood and ash articles out of Iowa into nonquarantined areas of other states.


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