Written by Michael Crowe, Multimedia Journalist - email
BURLINGTON (KWWL) -
The emerald ash borer has been found in Des Moines County, the second confirmed sighting in Iowa.
The first was in Allamakee County.
The invasive beetle was discovered in Detroit in 2002, and is native to eastern Asia. It is believed to have arrived in the U.S. in wooden shipping materials.
Though nearly impossible to stop, the Department of Natural Resources recommends taking precautions to avoid and slow the spread of the pest.
"Avoid transporting firewood from any long distance away," said Joe Wilkinson, an information specialist at the Iowa DNR. "Try to get your firewood locally -- that's what we try to push."
Chemical treatments are also available for threatened trees.
However, the first step is identification, according to Dustin Hinrichs of Trees Forever in Marion. He said the easiest way to identify an ash tree is by the shield or diamond pattern formed in its bark.
He also said not to be too concerned about treating specific trees until the beetles are confirmed within 15 miles.
"That's really when we recommend pursuing adding some preventative chemicals to ash trees that you'd like to save," said Hinrichs. "Say you have ash trees that are providing a lot of benefits to your home or property. Those are the trees that I would recommend looking into the chemical options that are on the market for saving."
He also noted that the only time to treat trees is in the spring, so it's too late for this year.
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