A Nasty Pest Continues It’s Move Across Iowa & North America
Yes, unfortunately in addition to the spread of the Spotted-Lantern Fly, which I covered recently, we continue to fight, on all fronts, the Emerald Ash Borer; another Asian invader. And according to a recent report from KCRG TV-9, the invasive insect has now been confirmed in Mitchell County, Iowa for the first time. Infestation records from the Department Of Agriculture show the pest continues it's path across the state.
The emerald ash borer is an invasive wood-boring insect that infests and kills ash trees. The larvae are the damaging stage of this insect as they feed on the inner bark of the trees, disrupting the tress flow of water and nutrients. The overall damage to the tree causes dieback and eventually the trees death. According to the Department of Agriculture, infested ash trees usually die within 2 to 4 years. The half-inch long metallic-green adult beetles eat on the ash leaflets from late May through August in Iowa. The emerald ash borer is native to Asia and was first discovered in the US near Detroit, Michigan in 2002. It is thought to have been introduced to our ecosystem through wood packaging material. The emerald ash borer has now been found across 36 states since its discovery, as well as the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Manitoba. Currently each one of these (see below) Iowa counties in under active treatment zones as shown on this page from the USDA.
Signs to look for when identifying an emerald ash borer infestation are;
- Bark Splitting and areas of exposed under-bark
- Serpentine bark patterns and "D" shaped exit holes on tree surface.
- Increased Wood Pecker activity and damage
- Canopy die back; top leaves stop growing or die altogether
- Epicormic Shoots; fresh growth from the base/roots of an already established tree
For more information contact your Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, DNR, Iowa Agriculture office, or visit the emerald ash borer website.
Looking to enjoy nature; check out this hike!