Emerald Ash Borer has been positively identified in a residential tree in the city of Burlington in Des Moines County, making this the second location where the invasive beetle has been found in Iowa. It initially had been found on Henderson Island in the Mississippi River in Allamakee County in 2010.
Emerald Ash Borer kills all ash species by larval burrowing under the bark and eating the actively growing layers of the trees. EAB is now considered to be one of the most destructive forest pests ever seen in North America.
State Entomologist Robin Pruisner said the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, along with USDA, will be issuing a quarantine for Des Moines County in the near future. A quarantine by state and U.S. agriculture departments means that hardwood firewood, ash logs and wood chips cannot be moved out of the area without a permit.
Pruisner said all Iowans are strongly cautioned 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 even further. Most EAB infestations in the United States have been started by people unknowingly moving infested firewood, nursery plants, or sawmill logs. The adult beetle also can fly short distances, approximately 2 to 5 miles.