DES MOINES, Iowa – Emerald ash borer has been found in Pocahontas County for the first time. This invasive insect has now been found in 81 of Iowa’s 99 counties since the first detection in 2010.
EAB threatens all ash species. The wood-boring insect feeds on the inner bark tissue, disrupting the transport of water and nutrients. Infested trees usually die within two to four years.
While the adult beetle can fly short distances, people have contributed to the spread of this pest by moving infested material, including firewood. People are reminded to use locally-sourced firewood where it will be burned to help limit the spread of EAB and other pests.
Indicators of an infestation may include canopy thinning, leafy sprouts shooting from the trunk or main branches, serpentine (“S”-shaped) galleries under the bark, bark splitting, woodpecker damage, and 1/8 inch D-shaped exit holes.
Now is the time to decide a course of action for ash trees at risk of EAB attack (within 15 miles of a known infestation). Landowners and managers can choose to wait and see what happens, remove declining ash trees and replace them with other species, or use preventive insecticide treatments to preserve and protect valuable and healthy ash trees. Spring, from mid-April to mid-May, is the best time to treat for EAB. Insecticides are most effective when the ash tree is actively growing, and uptake is at its peak. Tree service companies can apply insecticide trunk injections through the summer if soil moisture is available.
See Iowa State University Extension and Outreach publication PM2084, Emerald Ash Borer Management Options, for more details about EAB treatment.
The State of Iowa monitors the spread of EAB on a county-by-county basis. Before a county can be declared positive, a life stage of the insect must be collected and confirmed. Anyone who suspects an infested ash tree in a new location is encouraged to contact one of the following:
- Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, State Entomologist Office: 515-725-1470.
- Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Entomology: 515-294-1101.
- Iowa Department of Natural Resources: 515-725-8453.
Additional information on EAB, including known locations in Iowa, can be found at iowatreepests.com.
For additional information, contact any of the following members of the Iowa EAB Team:
- Mike Kintner, IDALS EAB coordinator, 515-745-2877, Mike.Kintner@IowaAgriculture.gov.
- Robin Pruisner, IDALS state entomologist, 515-725-1470, Robin.Pruisner@IowaAgriculture.gov.
- Jeff Goerndt, DNR state forester, 515-725-8452, Jeff.Goerndt@dnr.iowa.gov.
- Donald Lewis, ISU Extension and Outreach entomologist, 515-294-1101, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Emma Hanigan, DNR urban forestry coordinator, 515-249-1732, Emma.Hanigan@dnr.iowa.gov.
- Tivon Feeley, DNR forest health program leader, 515-725-669-1402, Tivon.email@example.com.
- Billy Beck, ISU Extension forestry specialist, 515-294-8837, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Jeff Iles, ISU Extension and Outreach horticulturist, 515-294-3718, email@example.com.
- Laura Iles, ISU Extension and Outreach entomologist, ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, 515-294-0581, firstname.lastname@example.org.