Emerald ash borer hits a Clayton County tree - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Emerald ash borer hits a Clayton County tree

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DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) -- Officials in Northeast Iowa are looking for emerald ash larvae after discovering a tree infested with the beetles in Clayton County.

Emerald ash borer, also known as EAB, are metallic green beetles and are active May through August. They kill ash trees.

It's known as the emerald ash borer and it spends most of its time inside an ash tree. Now that officials have discovered the larvae in a tree near Clayton County, DNR officials are watching close to make sure the larva doesn't spread to other trees.

Inside the Mines of Spain in Dubuque - one ash tree serves as a surveying tool. The special trap attracts emerald ash borers - should they be near by.

"They're about 3-5 centimeters in length they will borough into an ash tree, they will make tunnels and they're' gonna eat, live and grow until they become a beetle," said Craig Oberbroeckling from the DNR.

But that's not all they do - these harmless looking larva eat the inside of a tree - and kill it.

"Usually starts at the top of a tree and moves down. The biggest problem is once you find it in an ash tree there's no way to save it," said Oberbroeckling.

The most common way for EAB to spread firewood - something you might use when you're camping.

"Moving firewood or trees from illinois, which the whole state is quarantined, to here in Iowa," said Oberbroeckling.

He says many parks, including the Mines of Spain, won't allow out of state wood. If it's brought in, it's burned immediately to help prevent contamination.

"Purchase the wood with that community or if you already live in iowa just leave it within that county," said Oberbroeckling.

It's important to note that emerald ash borers are not harmful to humans only ash trees.

The larva was reportedly from Clayton County but no additional EAB larvae have been found and no signs of infestation have been spotted in the immediate area.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture, the DNR and the Iowa State Extension will host two public meetings on Tuesday, June 16th at the Osborne Center in Clayton County.

The officials will meet with timber industry representatives 1:00 P.M. And the public at 6:30 P.M.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires
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