DES MOINES, Iowa — The Department of Agriculture says the emerald ash borer beetle has been positively identified in the city of Osceola in Clarke County.
Clarke is now the 39th Iowa county where the destructive insect has been found. The insect’s larva burrow deep into ash trees as they mature, eating soft wood at the heart of the tree and ultimately killing it. The Asian beetle is responsible for the destruction of millions of acres as American forestland in the last decade.
Young, healthy ash trees can be treated to stop the beetle. Older trees can be cut down as a preventive measure to slow the spread of the insect. The DNR is currently conducting tests in southern Iowa to introduce a stingless wasp that is a natural predator to the ash borer. It could take years for the wasp population to grow large enough to kill off the ash borers already here, though.
You can find out more information about the ash borer and how you can protect your trees from it by visiting the Iowa DNR tree pest website.