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Emerald ash borer discovered in Mower County

After finding emerald ash borer (EAB) for the first time in Rice County two weeks ago, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced yesterday that EAB is now confirmed in Mower County.

An MDA employee, traveling on highway 63, sighted several suspicious trees with woodpecker pecks and bark splits near Racine,Minnesota. Upon further investigation
Woodpecker pecks is a red flag
for a potential EAB infestation. 
Photo: Jeff Hahn, U of MN Ext.
by MDA, live larvae were found which were confirmed later by federal identification.

This is the 23nd county in Minnesota that has verified EAB. This discovery is not surprising as it is a mere five miles from Stewartville in Olmstead County, which found EAB in 2014. Minnesota first found EAB in 2009 and its nearly one billion trees are at risk from this invasive borer.

EAB, first found in North American in 2002, has been confirmed in 35 states and 5 Canadian provinces. It has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees and has cost
hundreds of millions of dollars.

MDA recommends several steps residents can take to help identify EAB.
  • Look for woodpecker damage. Woodpeckers like EAB larvae and woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of EAB. 
  • Check for bark cracks. EAB larvae tunneling under the bark can cause the bark to split open, revealing the larval (S-shaped) tunnels underneath.
  • Contact a professional. If you feel your ash tree may be infested with EAB, contact a tree care professional, your city forester, or the MDA at arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us or 1-888-545-6684.
Read the original MDA news release here.  For more information on EAB, see Emerald ash borer in Minnesota.

Author: Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist
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