The emerald ash borer (EAB) was positively identified on December 19, 2013 in a residential tree in the city of Creston, IA making this the fifth location (see map below) where the invasive beetle has been found in Iowa. EAB kills all ash tree species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America. Read the news release at the ISU Extension & Outreach website.
Once again, EAB was detected by the public, indicating again the importance of vigilance and education of homeowners, arborists, landscapers and others with an eye on trees. In Creston an arborist pruning a private residential tree was suspicious that the tree had EAB and called the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Characteristic serpentine galleries, D-shaped exit holes, and a partial dead adult specimen were found. The USDA APHIS PPQ national identifier confirmed the beetle was EAB. EAB Readiness Team members estimated that the exotic beetle had been working on the tree for at least 3 years.
Other known locations of EAB in Iowa (Allamakee, Des Moines, Jefferson and Union counties) are at least 125 miles from Creston. As with most infestations, the recent location for discovery of EAB was probably the result of transport of infested firewood. There is no estimate of the size of this EAB population or the number of ash trees growing in Creston.
There has been no decision on how many counties might be quarantined as a result of this new find. Twenty-five counties in eastern Iowa were previously quarantined in an effort to prevent the spread of EAB (see HHPN November 1, 2013 and the white area in the map below).
The quarantine means specified items cannot be moved from a quarantined county without first obtaining a permit from IDALS or the USDA or being treated to exterminate any EAB. "Regulated" items include firewood of any hardwood species; ash trees, cut or fallen brush of the ash; non-heat treated ash lumber with either bark or sapwood attached; and hardwood wood or bark chips larger than one inch in two dimension.
Distribution of emerald ash borer in the Midwest. Red dot = initial county EAB detection; white counties are included in a state quarantine. See complete U.S. map at www.emeraldashborer.info under "Where is EAB?".