State forestry officials continue to be on the lookout for the emerald ash borer this summer. The beetles feed on the inner the bark of ash trees and eventually kill them off. Iowa Department of Natural Resources forester Jon Walkowiak says the last report found the beetles 100 miles away in Illinois.
Walkowiak says they’ve establish some key trap trees to see if they attract the borer. They’ve also put out over 100 experimental traps from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Walkowiak says they’re hoping the traps will give them an early warning of any problems.
He says the traps are big purple triangular boxes, as it appears the beetles have some sort of affinity for the color purple. The hope is to find the beetles and get rid of them in a small area before they can spread. The only way to wipe out the problem is to cut down the ash trees.
Walkoviak says the trees that are infested and the likely ones to be infested are cut down and chipped up, so it’s more cost intensive. The beetles have done lots of damage in other parts of the country. He says over 20 to 25 million ash trees in the lower parts of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, and parts of Pennsylvania have fallen to the emerald ash borer. For more information on emerald ash borer, go to: www.emeraldashborer.info or contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.