Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in Rice County; emergency quarantine of firewood implemented

Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in Rice County; emergency quarantine of firewood implemented
FILE — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture recently confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer in Rice County. (AP Photo) (Source: Mike Groll)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture recently confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer in Rice County.

The MDA says that a Faribault Public Works Department employee contacted them after they noticed an ash tree with EAB symptoms on private property in the city of Faribault. MDA staff were then able to find live EAB larvae and collect a sample for federal identification.

“The Faribault city employee was able to identify the signs of EAB thanks to an MDA workshop he attended earlier this month,” said Mark Abrahamson, director of MDA’s Plant Protection Division. “That’s why knowledge of the signs and symptoms of this insect is so important in limiting its spread.”

Abrahamson said there are several things residents should look for when checking their ash trees for emerald ash borer, including:

  • Inspecting for woodpecker damage. Woodpeckers like EAB larvae and woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of EAB;
  • Checkubg for cracks in the bark because EAB larvae tunneling under the bark can cause the bark to split open, revealing the larval (S-shaped) tunnels underneath; and
  • Contacting a professional. If you feel your ash tree may be infested with EAB, contact a tree care professional, your city forester or the MDA at arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us or by phone at 1-888-545-6684.

Since this is the first reported case of EAB within Rice County, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has issued an emergency quarantine to limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the county. Officials hope that this emergency quarantine will reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect.

Additional information about EAB is available on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s website.

Rice County becomes the 22nd county in the state to have a confirmed presence of Emerald Ash Borer.

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