Public Safety

Emerald ash borer confirmed in three more Iowa counties Invasive insect now found in 64 counties

Liz Martin/The Gazette

Larval galleries made by the emerald ash borer larvae can be seen on a recently inspected ash tree at the Interstate 380 northbound rest stop in Cedar Rapids in October 2015.
Liz Martin/The Gazette Larval galleries made by the emerald ash borer larvae can be seen on a recently inspected ash tree at the Interstate 380 northbound rest stop in Cedar Rapids in October 2015.

The emerald ash borer’s march across Iowa continues, with confirmation of the invasive insect’s presence in three new Iowa counties.

The emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Crawford, Delaware and Page counties, according to a Wednesday news release from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Since 2010, the insect has been confirmed in 64 Iowa counties.

Locally, the emerald ash borer was confirmed Wednesday in Marion on a private property along 44th Street. Ash trees in the immediate area will be assessed for insect activity and, if more is found, an expanded survey of the area will be conducted, the release states.

In preparation of the beetle, Marion officials have created an EAB Response Plan, which includes removing low-value ash trees or using insecticide treatment on trees considered high-value by the city.

There are more than 900 ash trees in Marion, about 15 percent of the city’s tree population.

While the beetle continues to spread across the state, Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship EAB and gypsy moth coordinator, said in the release that Iowans still are encouraged to report any suspected infested ash trees where the insect has not yet been confirmed.

“Tracking the whereabouts of emerald ash borer across the state is a useful component of treatment recommendations,” Kinter said in the release

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.

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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.

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

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