Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive pest that has already killed millions of ash trees in the United States, is gaining a foothold in Iowa. Today, state officials issued a quarantine on firewood to try to help stem the tide.
DAVENPORT – Officials with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship today announced a quarantine of twenty-five counties in Eastern Iowa has been issued to help prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). There have been confirmed EAB infestations in four Eastern Iowa counties.
“This regional quarantine is designed to help prevent the spread of this destructive insect while hopefully allowing businesses to continue to function,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said. “This quarantine is established to make sure that any ash products that leave these counties do not spread the pest.”
The regulated articles under the quarantine include EAB at any living state; entire ash trees; firewood of any hardwood species; any cut or fallen material 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.
The quarantine orders that the regulated articles cannot be moved from a county included in the quarantine unless a permit has been issued by either the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship or USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) or if the article has been treated to exterminate any pests under the supervision of USDA and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
The counties included in the quarantine are: Winneshiek, Allamakee, Fayette, Clayton, Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Linn, Jones, Jackson, Clinton, Johnson, Cedar, Scott, Keokuk, Washington, Muscatine, Louisa, Wapello, Jefferson, Henry, Des Moines, Davis, Van Buren, and Lee.
A full copy of the quarantine can be found on the Department’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov<http://www.IowaAgriculture.gov> under the “Hot Topics” section.
The invasive EAB beetle has been positively identified in four locations in eastern Iowa. Allamakee County was declared infested in May 2010, Des Moines County in July 2013, Jefferson County in August 2013 and Cedar County in October 2013.
EAB kills all ash species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America.
All Iowans are strongly cautioned not to transport firewood across county or state lines, since the movement of firewood throughout Iowa or to other states poses the greatest threat to quickly spread EAB even further. Most EAB infestations in the United States have been started by people unknowingly moving infested firewood, nursery plants or sawmill logs.
To learn more about EAB and other pests that are threatening Iowa’s tree population, please visit www.IowaTreePests.com<http://www.iowatreepests.com/>.