The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has placed Martin County under an emergency quarantine after emerald ash borer (EAB) was found northeast of the city of Welcome. A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) trap captured several insects in the area.
Because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Martin County, the MDA is enacting an emergency quarantine to limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the county. This will reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect. Currently 15 other Minnesota counties are under full or partial quarantine to prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer.
“Since the nearest EAB infestation we know of in Minnesota or Iowa is several counties away, we can be certain that emerald ash borer was brought to Martin County by someone moving infested ash,” said Kimberly Thielen Cremers, Supervisor of MDA’s Pest Mitigation and Biocontrol Unit. “The only way to protect Minnesota’s ash trees is to stop moving firewood and other ash products around the state.”
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. Suspect infestations can be reported to MDA’s Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or email@example.com.
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. The invasive insect was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009 and is now found in 30 states.
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.
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications