EAB or Native Borer? New Publication Shows the Difference

emerald ash borerAMES, Iowa — The Emerald Ash Borer is an insect that, in a matter of time, will destroy all ash trees. Because the bug has begun making its way across Iowa, an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach entomologist, in collaboration with an Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship entomologist, has written a new publication to help Iowans identify signs of the pest under the bark.
 
EAB or Native Borer?” by Mark Shour and Todd Voss offers a side-by-side comparison of the Emerald Ash Borer and several Native Borers, which only attack declining or dying ash trees. The exotic Emerald Ash Borer, in contract, kills healthy and declining ash trees. The publication (PM3065) is available for free download from the ISU Extension and Outreach Online Store, http://store.extension.iastate.edu/.
 
The Emerald Ash Borer is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America. Infestations have been confirmed in nine Iowa counties, and the insect was recently detected in a tenth county. Since February 2014, a statewide quarantine has restricted the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips, and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states to help slow the spread of EAB.
 
Shour and Voss are members of the state EAB Team that work on the issue.
 
“The idea to write ‘EAB or Native Borer’ came from Voss’ conversations in the field,” said Shour. “Many people are looking under the bark of their ash trees, trying to discern whether or not the tunnels and trails they are seeing are from Native Borers or the exotic insect pest.”
 
This publication is a way to help people to quickly identify Native Borer activity compared to that of the EAB. It focuses on the type of feeding tunnels created, what the larva looks like and the shapes of the exit holes. The publication gives short, descriptive characteristics and clear, easy-to-recognize colored photos of each insect.
 
Please contact Iowa EAB Team members to have suspicious looking trees checked. The state of Iowa will continue to track the movement of EAB on a county-by-county basis for the remaining 89 counties not currently known to have an EAB infestation.
 
To learn more about EAB and other pests that are threatening Iowa’s tree population, please visit:
 
Or contact Mark Shour, ISU Entomology, 515-294-5963, mshour@iastate.edu
 
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