State officials confirmed Tuesday that the emerald ash borer has been found in a second county in the state after a Burlington homeowner reported concerns about an ash tree there. The announcement could spur a scam where treatments are offered to protect trees in the Burlington area or other parts of the state.
Iowa State University entomologist, Mark Shour, says don’t take those professing to be tree doctors up on their offer. “We’re not supposed to be treating now. Really the best time to treat the emeral ash borer preventively is in the spring, mid-April to mid-May,” Shour explains.
Shour says that’s a fact you can use to ward off the scam. He says if someone offers to treat the trees now, you can say no, that the best time to treat is in the spring, and we can take your name and number and call you then.
Donald Lewis, another ISU entomologist, says they see people trying to scam money whenever pests are involved — from bedbugs to grubs in your lawn. Lewis says one common sense approach can help you avoid getting taken.
“What we always teach is be a good consumer. Check the references, look for certifications which will be required of people treating other people’s trees,” Lewis explains. “Get your information, do your shopping around, get the estimates. That will be our message with this one as well — be an informed consumer — to make sure your getting what you need when you need it and are getting a good deal in the process.”
Des Moines County is the second in the state to be confirmed with an emerald ash borer infestation. The first was found in an island in the Mississippi River off Allamakee County three years ago.