Emmet, Palo Alto are Last Counties Without an EAB Infestation

by Brian Wilson
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–Palo Alto and Emmet counties are now the only two in the state that have not had a confirmed infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer, after the announcement this week that Plymouth County has recorded their first case.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship made the announcement on Thursday that a sample taken from an Ash tree in Remsen does contain the Emerald Ash Borer. A local tree service company alerted state officials to the possible infestation after noticing symptoms in the tree.

Emerald Ash Borer was first detected in Iowa back in 2010 and has now been found in 97 counties, including Kossuth, which had its first confirmed infestation in 2022. Mitigation efforts are now in place in communities across the county in an effort to protect existing Ash trees.

The adult beetle is a half-inch long and metallic green in color. The insect tunnels through the wood, just beneath the bark of an Ash tree, cutting off the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. The cumulative damage typically kills a tree within 2-4 years of becoming infested.

State officials are reminding residents that the Emerald Ash Borer is generally spread by transporting firewood across the state, and to use only locally sourced firewood.

Residents in Emmet and Palo Alto counties that suspect an infestation can contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, State Entomologist Office at 515-725-1470, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Entomology Office at 515-294-1101 or the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at 515-725-8200.

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