Des Moines, Iowa – Five more counties are now confirmed to have emerald ash borer (EAB) infestations, putting the total at 50 of the 99 counties in the state which have the destructive pest. Iowa Department of Agriculture E-A-B coordinator, Mike Kitner says the insect that kills ash trees is now confirmed in Floyd, Howard, Benton, Buena Vista and Warren County. Although it’s been making its way across the state for the last seven years, Kitner says people haven’t seemed to become complacent about watching for new infestations.
He expects the remaining 44 counties which haven’t confirmed an infestation yet will be on the lookout for the signs in their ash trees.
The insect that burrows under bark started its trip across the state in eastern Iowa, and he says the scars of its presence are visible.
You can spot a tree that’s been attacked by leaves that begin dyeing at the top and move downward. There are D-shaped exit holes and water sprouts along the trunk and main branches, and bark that is stripped off as a result of woodpeckers hunting for E-A-B larvae. Some of the trees are being saved by various treatments. Kitner advises you to do a little research if you have a tree you want to treat.
He says all 99 counties are eventually going to see an infestation, but you can help slow it down by keeping firewood local. Moving firewood is the fastest way for the beetle to spread from one area of the state to another.