Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) is a small green invasive wood boring beetle that attacks and kills ash trees. The adults live on the outside of ash trees feeding on the leaves during the summer months. The larvae look similar to white grubs and feed on the living plant tissue (phloem and cambium) underneath the bark of ash trees. The trees are killed by the tunneling activity of the larvae under the tree's bark, which disrupts the vascular flow.
The metallic green beetle is native to East Asia and was imported to the United States within the wood of shipping crates from China. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was first discovered in North America near Detroit, Michigan in 2002. Since the first discovery it has also been found in 18 states and Canada.
EAB attacks native ash trees of any size, age, or stage of health. Millions of ash trees have already been killed in infested areas. Much of Iowa's forestland is densely populated with ash trees, and Iowa's community street trees are heavily planted with ash cultivars. Early inventory data indicates that there are 52 million woodland ash trees and 3.1 million urban ash trees. Take a moment to think about how many ash trees are in your yard, neighborhood, community, and woodlands. Then imagine those areas without ash trees. Trees that have been attacked by EAB can die within 2 years.
Research has shown that EAB can only fly a few miles, which helps slow its natural spread. However, it is easily transported to new areas when people inadvertently move emerald ash borer larvae inside of infested firewood, ash nursery stock, and other ash items. Please do not move firewood from infested areas into non-infested areas.
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