Spreading Emerald Ash Borer


The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has become a major problem in the United States due to its quick spread and the deadly impact it has on trees around the country. First seen in the Michigan area in 2002, it is believed that it was introduced into the United States in firewood transported from Asia. Since this initial introduction, they have been responsible for over 50 million tree deaths, most often ash trees. Stopthebeetle.info reported that the beetle is now found in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The spread of this parasite is most often caused when infested firewood is moved through human activity to uninfested areas – the beetles usually don’t fly more than a half-mile. To try to slow the spread of this parasite, some counties in Iowa have been quarantined, which means that a permit is needed to move firewood out of the county. The Emerald Ash Borer was first sighted in Iowa in 2010 and has quickly spread across the state. Iowa has approximately 52 million ash trees located in rural areas and about three million ash trees in urban settings. After the beetles infest a tree, it takes two to four years for the tree to die. Because of the length of time it takes to show signs of infestation, it is unclear how much damage has been done before quarantines have been put in place. The beetles leave D-shaped entry holes in any tree they inhabit, which makes this a telltale sign of infestation. Although quarantines have been put in place, officials haven’t yet worked out all the logistics of the quarantine. “We hope in future weeks we will have the quarantine worked out, we will have worked with industry to fully inform everyone and hopefully draw up a good quarantine plan,” says Iowa entomologist Robin Prusiner.