The insect known for killing millions of ash trees has been positively identified in another Iowa county. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is now confirmed in Keokuk County, and is now in nearly a fifth of all Iowa counties.
With the absence of foliage, winter months are ideal times to discover symptoms of the insect.
Mike Kitner Iowa Department of Agriculture EAB and Gypsy Moth Coordinator says, “Like many other finds this winter, woodpecker activity continues to capture our attention of potentially EAB infested trees. The winter months are an opportune time to scout for the signs we are looking for, such as light-colored bark areas, or flecking, and feeding holes as a result of woodpeckers searching for EAB larvae to feed on.”
He says the find is not a real surprise given the discoveries in nearby areas.
The Iowa EAB team strongly cautions Iowans to not transport firewood across county or state lines to prevent the ash borer from spreading faster than it is. In 2014, a statewide quarantine on wood movement was put into place restricting movement out-of-state.
The Emerald Ash Borer can cost Iowa communities several thousand dollars to a few million each, and the nation as a whole $120 billion.