The invasive insect that kills ash trees has been detected in all but eight Iowa counties. State officials have confirmed the emerald ash borer has been found in Dickinson and Humboldt Counties for the first time. Mike Kintner is the emerald ash borer coordinator for the Iowa Department of Agriculture. Kintner says emerald ash borer larvae was found just outside of Arnolds Park after getting a tip from a professional who works in the landscaping industry.
The destructive beetles were also found outside of Dakota City. In addition to woodpecker activity, Kintner says a thinning leaf canopy at the top of an ash tree is a clue because the insects attack the top third of the tree first and then progress downward.
Kintner says if you have an ash tree on your property and you live within 15 miles of a confirmed emerald ash borer infestation, now is the time to consider whether you’ll start treating the tree.
The pest was first discovered in the United States in 2002, in southeast Michigan. It was confirmed in Iowa eight years later. The eight Iowa counties where emerald ash borer infestations have not yet been identified are Emmet, Kossuth, Mitchell, Monona, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth and Woodbury.