Emerald Ash Borer discovered in Mitchell County

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 9:28 AM CDT
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OSAGE, Iowa (KCRG) - The Emerald Ash Borer has now been confirmed to be in Mitchell County, Iowa for the first time.

The invasive, ash tree-killing insect was originally detected in Iowa in 2010. It has since been confirmed in 94 of Iowa’s 99 counties.

In a press release, officials said the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship collected Emerald Ash Borer larvae near Spring Park in Osage.

The invasive species typically kill native ash trees within two to four years after infestation, because the larvae feed on the trees’ inner bark, cutting off the tree’s ability to transport vital nutrients.

Adult Emerald Ash Borers can disperse locally by flying, but officials say they spread long-distance when people move infested material, including firewood. That’s why officials urge people to use locally-sourced firewood to help limit the spread of invasive species.

The six Iowa counties where the Emerald Ash Borer has not been confirmed are all in northwestern Iowa. See more information about the insect, including a map of counties where it has been confirmed, here.