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Home > News, Media & Government Relations > News Releases > MDA identifies emerald ash borer in Wabasha County

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, February 29, 2016

MDA identifies emerald ash borer in Wabasha County

County to be placed under emergency quarantine

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has identified emerald ash borer (EAB) in Wabasha County. MDA staff found EAB larvae in an ash tree in the southeastern corner of the county after being alerted to some suspicious trees by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff. The trees displayed symptoms of EAB infestation, including bark splits and insect tunneling under the bark.

“Public partners, like the DNR, and private citizens on the lookout for signs of emerald ash borer are critical for helping us identify new infestations of the insect in the state,” said MDA Entomologist Mark Abrahamson. “It’s important, especially in rural areas of the state, we find infestations as early as possible and look at all management tools available to slow the spread of this destructive insect.”

Because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Wabasha County, the county will be placed under emergency quarantine which will limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the county. Currently 11 Minnesota counties and Park Point in the city of Duluth are under quarantine to prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer.

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:

  • Don’t transport firewood. Buy firewood locally from approved vendors, and burn it where you buy it;
  • Be aware of the quarantine restrictions. If you live in a quarantined county, be aware of the restrictions on movement of products such as ash trees, wood chips, and firewood; and,
  • Watch your ash trees for infestation. If you think your ash tree is infested, go to www.mda.state.mn.us/eab and use the “Do I Have Emerald Ash Borer?” guide.

Emerald ash borer larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk. Since its accidental introduction into North America, EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in 24 states. The invasive insect was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009.

Minnesota is highly susceptible to the destruction caused by EAB. The state has approximately one billion ash trees, the most of any state in the nation.

CONTACT: Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications
651-201-6185 / allen.sommerfeld@state.mn.us

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