Emerald Ash Borer Iowa Detection Plans, 2010

Robin Pruisner, State Entomologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, says, "Spring is in the air so my thoughts are turning green...emerald green." Below are details about this summer's detection activities for the emerald ash borer (EAB).

Iowa's inter-agency EAB technical team has been working to coordinate EAB monitoring (detection) and education efforts in the state. If EAB is found within Iowa (and no infestations have been detected to date!) this team will also coordinate confirmation, quarantine and containment efforts to limit EAB infestations. 

Members of the Iowa EAB Technical Team are:

  • IDALS – State Entomologist Office [Co-Lead Organization]
  • IDNR – Forestry Bureau [Co-Lead Organization]
  • Iowa State University Extension
  • USDA Forest Service

EAB detection focuses on 3 main techniques or processes. 

1. Large, purple, triangular sticky traps are hung in ash trees to intercept and capture EAB adult beetles flying in the area. See the HHPN Update from October 8, 2008 for a picture.

2. Sentinel trees are selected ash trees in high risk locations that are purposely stressed by girdling bark from the trunk. Stressed trees are more attractive to EAB beetles. Sentinel trees are sacrificed and then peeled (all bark removed) to inspect for larvae developing inside. See the Iowa Tree Pests web site for photos.

3. The public, tree care companies and concerned ash tree owners have been the most common method for detecting new EAB infestations in other states. Iowa's interagency team coordinates and provides ongoing education through meetings, workshops, news releases, web sites and one-on-one discussion.

2010 Trapping Plans:

The 2010 EAB Trapping Survey will include 10 eastern Iowa counties that are adjacent to the Mississippi River. Approximately 1,550 traps will be placed in ash trees in a 1.5 mile grid pattern by personnel from USDA PPQ and Iowa DNR.

An additional 340 traps will be placed at 166 sites throughout Iowa by USDA-PPQ and IDALS. This National EAB High Risk Site Survey calls for traps at high risk sites such as sawmills/logging companies, and public and private campgrounds.

Traps are hung in trees beginning the first week of May with all traps in place tentatively by June 1st.

2010 Trap Tree Plans

The Iowa DNR is planning to establish and peel approximately 400 sentinel trees in high risk locations again during the 2010 growing season.

2010 Survey and Education Plans

Iowa DNR is working with the USDA Forest Service to conduct more tree health inventories of city trees in eastern Iowa communities with a population less than 5,000. The DNR will then work with the communities to develop individual Community Forest Stewardship Plans to help manage the urban forest resource.

EAB has already been the topic of discussion at short courses, pesticide applicator training and other meetings throughout the winter. Please contact your local county extension office or Extension Entomology on campus about scheduling an EAB meeting in your area.


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