Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Palo Alto County

by Brian Wilson
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–Palo Alto County is reporting their first confirmed infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer, becoming the 98th of Iowa’s 99 counties to find the insect.

According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, insect samples were collected from an ash tree in the Basswood Recreation Area near Emmetsburg in March. Samples were taken after staff members noticed woodpecker damage in an ash tree, which is a symptom of an infestation.

Those samples were submitted to the USDA for analysis and test results confirmed the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer. The insect itself can only travel short distances, and it is typically spread by people transporting firewood to campsites across the state.

With the positive result in Palo Alto County, Emmet County remains the only in Iowa to not have a confirmed case of EAB. The invasive, ash tree-killing insect was first found in North America back in 2002, when it was discovered in Southeast Michigan. Since that time, it has been found in 36 states across the country, as it was first found in Iowa back in 2010.

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