As spring has finally arrived and nice weather is here. Wouldn't you know, there's still some bad news behind that good news. The invasive insect that kills ash trees has been officially detected in 91 of the 99 counties in Iowa.

Radio Iowa reports the pest has been detected for the first time in Dickinson and Humboldt Counties.

If you're not familiar, the emerald ash borer, or EAB, will attack the top third of the tree it infests first, and then progress downward.

While the EAB sightings are new for the counties mentioned, the beetle has been in and around eastern Iowa counties for some time now with a confirmed infestation in Cedar Rapids in 2015 and in Waterloo in 2014. More recently, they were confirmed in Marion back in 2018 and Rural Central City just last year.

Image of Emerald Ash Borer Beetle on a green leaf. Insect. Animal
Emerald Ash Borer
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The radio Iowa story confirmed with experts that if you live within 15 miles of a confirmed EAB infestation, you should seek out a certified applicator to apply preventative insecticides on your property.

The beetle has also been confirmed in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The USDA claims the EAB is responsible for the destruction of tens of millions of ash trees in 30 states. The USDA also reminds Iowans as we hit fire season, don't move firewood. EAB larvae can survive tucked away in the bark of firewood. They encourage residents to buy local and burn local.

The first-ever EAB was back in 2002 in Michigan. It wasn't discovered in Iowa for another eight years.

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