Emerald ash borer, the invasive pest responsible for killing millions of ash trees in 32 states, has been found in two more Iowa counties.
The discoveries in Taylor and Carroll counties, both on the western side of the state, bring to 57 the number of counties it has affected in Iowa — including Linn and Johnson — since it first was spotted in the state in 2010, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
The recent discoveries were in Clearfield in Taylor County and a rural area west of Carroll in Carroll County, the department said in a news release. Both times, tree services alerted the department after recognizing signs of infestation, and both instances were later confirmed.
The beetle from Asia primary is spread by humans. Officials have been encouraging Iowans not to transport firewood but rather to use locally-sourced firewood and to burn it in the same county where it was obtained.
Larvae from the emerald ash borer kill ash trees by borrowing under the bark and feeding on parts of the tree that carry nutrients.