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Emerald ash borer confirmed in four new Iowa counties

Cedar Rapids Forestry Department trimmer Joe Werling cuts the remaining trunk after removal of an ash tree along Boyson Road NE in Cedar Rapids on Monday, April 23, 2018. Some of the ash trees along the road were removed as part of the city’s emerald ash borer mitigation program. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Forestry Department trimmer Joe Werling cuts the remaining trunk after removal of an ash tree along Boyson Road NE in Cedar Rapids on Monday, April 23, 2018. Some of the ash trees along the road were removed as part of the city’s emerald ash borer mitigation program. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

The invasive Emerald ash borer has been confirmed in four more Iowa counties as the beetle continues to spread across the state.

The insect has been found in ash trees in Buchanan, Hamilton, Hardin and Pottawattamie counties, according to a Friday news release from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

Since 2010, there have been 61 counties with a confirmed Emerald ash borer presence.

The beetle was first found in Cedar Rapids in 2015 and again last July. It also has been detected in parts of Johnson County, including Iowa City and Coralville.

The insect is native to eastern Asia. Its larvae burrow into ash tree bark and block nutrients from flowing to the rest of the tree.

To reduce the insect’s spread, officials recommend that residents not transport firewood.

“People can really help minimize the spread of this pest by not giving it a ride in infested firewood between counties or from home to campsite,” Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship EAB and gypsy moth coordinator, said in a Friday news release.

More information on the insect and management options are available at IowaTreePests.com.

l Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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