FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, August 26, 2011
CONTACT: Liz Erickson, Communications Coordinator763-219-9386, Liz.email@example.com
MDA confirms two new emerald ash borer infestations in southeastern Minnesota
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) today confirmed new emerald ash borer (EAB) infestations in Winona County and Houston County. In each case, the infestation was discovered after field staff found a single adult beetle on a purple monitoring trap.
The Winona County infestation is in Great River Bluffs State Park, 17 miles southeast of the city of Winona. It is the first EAB infestation found in Winona County. The Houston County detection is in Veterans Park in La Crescent, and is the second detection in Houston County. The two new infestations are about 8 miles apart.
These discoveries are the latest in a series of EAB infestations discovered in Minnesota since May 2009, joining sites in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Falcon Heights, Shoreview, and extreme southeastern Houston County.
MDA scientists do not know how EAB arrived at the new sites, but they will survey the areas and work with federal, state and local partners to determine the scope of the infestations. Meanwhile, MDA has added Winona County to the list of Minnesota counties under EAB quarantine. This quarantine, which already covers Hennepin, Ramsey and Houston counties, bars people from moving out of the affected county any items potentially infested with EAB. Items subject to the quarantine include firewood, live ash trees, ash limbs and branches, and untreated ash lumber. A full description can be found online at www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/eab/eabquarantine.aspx.
EAB is one of America’s most destructive tree pests. Its larvae kill ash trees by tunneling into the wood and feeding on the tree’s nutrients. Since its accidental introduction into North America, EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in 15 states. The metallic-green adult beetles are a half-inch long, and are active from May to September. Infestation signs include one-eighth inch, D-shaped exit holes in ash tree bark and winding tunnels under the bark. The biggest risk of spreading EAB comes from people unknowingly moving firewood or other ash products harboring larvae. There are three easy steps Minnesotans can take to keep EAB from spreading:
Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 625 Robert Street N, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, firstname.lastname@example.org