Emerald Ash Borer now confirmed in Keokuk County

Emerald Ash Borer now confirmed in Keokuk County

Insect that kills ash trees has now been confirmed in 19 counties in Iowa; latest infestation is near Hedrick in southeast Iowa.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been positively identified in the Iowa community of Hedrick in Keokuk County. EAB kills all ash tree species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America. The Iowa Department of Agriculture made the announcement January 30 about the confirmation of the pest showing up near Hedrick in Keokuk County in southeast Iowa.

An ash tree with evidence of recent woodpecker activity was observed by an Iowa EAB Team member. A branch was removed from the tree and a suspect larva was collected.

BAD BUG: Emerald Ash Borer has killed millions of ash trees in the U.S. in recent years. In Iowa, it's been found in 19 counties. A statewide quarantine remains in place restricting movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states.

"With the recent discoveries in nearby areas announced in December, this latest find in southeast Iowa is no real surprise," says Mike Kintner, the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's EAB and Gypsy Moth Coordinator. "Like many other finds this winter, woodpecker activity continues to capture our attention of potentially EAB infested trees. The winter months are an opportune time to scout for the signs we are looking for, such as light-colored bark areas, or flecking, and feeding holes as a result of woodpeckers searching for EAB larvae to feed on."

One-fifth of counties in Iowa have confirmed EAB infestations
A total of 19 counties in Iowa now have confirmed EAB infestations. A statewide quarantine, issued on Feb. 4, 2014, remains in place and is 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.

LOOK FOR SYMPTOMS: Winter months are a good time to look for signs of Emerald Ash Borer infestation on ash trees. Look for light-colored areas of the bark, or flecking, and for feeding holes as a result of woodpeckers searching for EAB insects to feed on.

"We still strongly urge Iowans to not move firewood long distances," says Robin Pruisner, state entomologist at the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship. "A large portion of Iowa is not showing signs of EAB infestation; let's keep those areas EAB-free as long as possible by not moving wood that potentially harbors EAB or other tree pests. Be vigilant. You should report suspicious symptoms in counties that are not yet known to be infested with EAB. You should report these symptoms to a member of the Iowa EAB Team."

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

Don't transport firewood across county or state lines
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 U.S. have been started by people unknowingly moving infested firewood, nursery plants or sawmill logs. The adult beetle also can fly short distances, approximately two to five 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.

If you see suspicious symptoms of possible EAB, report it
Pruisner says you should 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 specimen must be collected and verified by USDA entomologists.

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

• Robin Pruisner, IDALS State Entomologist, 515-725-1470, [email protected]

• Mike Kintner, IDALS EAB Coordinator, 515-745-2877, [email protected]

• Paul Tauke, DNR State Forester, 515-725-8450, [email protected]

• Tivon Feeley, DNR Forest Health Coordinator, 515-725-8453, [email protected]

• Emma Hanigan, DNR Urban Forest Coordinator, 515-725-8454, [email protected]

• Jesse Randall, ISU Extension Forester, 515-294-1168, [email protected]

• Mark Shour, ISU Extension Entomologist, 515-294-5963, [email protected]

• Laura Jesse, ISU Extension Entomologist, ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, 515-294-0581, [email protected]

• Donald Lewis, ISU Extension Entomologist, 515-294-1101, [email protected].

• Jeff Iles, ISU Extension Horticulturist, 515-294-3718, [email protected]

TAGS: USDA Extension
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