Ash borer causes firewood quarantine - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ash borer causes firewood quarantine

ALLAMAKEE CO. (KWWL)---Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced Monday that a quarantine of Allamakee County has been issued to prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer. State officials announced recently that an ash borer infestation had been confirmed along the Mississippi River two miles south of the Minnesota border in Allamakee County.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has also filed a proposed amendment to the Iowa Administrative Code that would require that firewood sold or distributed in Iowa be identified by the country and state of origin.

"This quarantine is established to make sure that any ash products that leave Allamakee County do not spread this pest.  And, since firewood has been the primary means of transporting the insect and starting new infestations, this rule change focuses on a key risk factor in EAB spreading across the state," Northey said.

The quarantine orders that the regulated articles cannot be moved from Allamakee County unless a permit has been issued by either the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship or USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service or if the article has been treated to exterminate any pests under the supervision of USDA and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

The emerald ash borer is native to eastern Asia, and was first detected in the United States near Detroit, Michigan in 2002.  It kills all ash species by larval burrowing under the bark and eating the actively growing layers.  The metallic-green adult beetles are a half inch long, and are active from late-May to early-August in Iowa. 

KWWL Reporter: Kera Mashek

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