Emerald Ash Borer (photo/ISU Extension)

Emerald Ash Borer (photo/ISU Extension)

Given the other infestations in Iowa, it was only a matter of time before the emerald ash borer was detected in Cedar Rapids.

A member of Iowa’s emerald ash borer team discovered live larvae on an ash tree at an Interstate 380 rest area in southern Cedar Rapids, state officials announced this morning.

Read on for more from the state about the latest confirmation of emerald ash borer in Iowa:

A destructive insect of ash trees has been confirmed in southern Cedar Rapids. The emerald ash borer (EAB) was discovered at an Iowa interstate rest area along I-380 approximately one-half mile north of the Johnson County line. There are now twenty-nine counties in Iowa confirmed positive with this invasive pest. EAB has spread to 25 states destroying tens of millions of ash trees.

EAB is a metallic-green beetle that measures approximately ½ inch long. The immature stage of the insect feeds on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the trees ability to transport water and nutrients. EAB infested ash trees include thinning or dying branches in the upper canopy, evidence of woodpecker activity, S-shaped feeding galleries under dead or splitting bark, D-shaped exit holes, and water sprouts (along the trunk and main branches).

The detection resulted as member of the Iowa EAB team noticed a suspicious looking ash tree while passing through the rest area. Upon further investigation, live EAB larvae were found.

“We are frequently finding EAB along or near well-traveled areas where people are unknowingly and artificially enhancing the spread of EAB by the movement of things like firewood,” said Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship EAB and gypsy moth coordinator.

The movement of firewood throughout Iowa or to other states poses the greatest threat to spread EAB and other plant pests. The Iowa EAB Team cautions Iowans not to transport firewood across county or state lines. A statewide quarantine remains in place, restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states.

At this calendar date, the window for all preventive treatments has closed. If a landowner is interested in protecting a valuable and healthy ash tree within 15 miles of a known infestation, he or she should have landscape and tree service companies bid on work, review the bids this fall/winter, and treat beginning spring 2016 (early April to mid-May).

Please contact Iowa EAB Team members to have suspicious looking trees checked in counties not currently known to be infested. Team members include officials from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA Forest Service.

The State of Iowa will continue to track the movement of EAB on a county-by-county basis. Before a county can be officially recognized as infested, proof of a reproducing population is needed and an EAB must be collected and verified by USDA entomologists.

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