Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis), or EAB as it’s commonly known, is a small, metallic-green, invasive wood-boring beetle native to east Asia that attacks and kills ash trees (fraxinus spp.). Adult beetles live on the outside of trees and feed on the leaves during the summer months, while the larvae feed on the living plant tissue, the phloem and cambium, underneath the bark. The tunneling and feeding activity of the larvae is what ultimately kills trees. EAB attacks trees of any size, age, or stage of health, and trees can die within two years of infestation.
Iowa EAB Infestation Status
EAB was first discovered in North American near Detroit, Michigan in 2002, and has been found in numerous other states, as well as Canada, since then. It was discovered in Iowa in 2010 on in island in the Mississippi River near the town of New Albin. Since then, the beetle has moved westward through the state, and new infestations have been found on an ongoing basis. People are responsible for its spread, which is caused by the inadvertent movement of infested firewood, ash nursery stock, and other ash items. Early inventory data indicates that there are roughly 52 million woodland ash trees and 3.1 million community ash trees in Iowa. As ash is one of the most commonly planted street trees in the state, EAB will have a huge impact on the forest resources of cities and towns throughout.
NOTE: Iowa DNR does NOT recommend using imidacloprid drenching for the treatment of EAB. For more information about treatment, please refer to the Potential Side Effects of EAB Insecticides FAQ.