The emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is an exotic insect pest from Asia. The flattened, creamy white larva feed below the bark and cuts off the living, water and nutrient conducting vessels causing tree death. Adults are small elongated oval beetles that are metallic green in color. This insect colonizes the top of ash trees (Fraxinus species) first, then moves down the tree.
“EAB has been found in 9 Iowa counties (Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Cedar, Des Moines, Jasper, Jefferson, Union, and Wapello). As of February 2014, all 99 counties in Iowa have been quarantined (Quarantine Map) by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to slow the movement of this destructive pest to non-quarantined areas/states. A cooperative state and federal effort has developed the “Iowa Emerald Ash Borer Readiness Plan.” EAB has also been found in 21 other states, including Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin, on Iowa’s borders.”
ISU experts encourage Iowa homeowners to evaluate their ash tree’s health and value in the landscape, and their commitment to years of preventive treatments. If an ash tree is within 15 miles of a known EAB infestation, preventive treatments are suggested for individual trees. Check out all of the information (including some in Spanish) about this pest that threatens Iowa’s forests.
This post was originally published August 25, 2014.