Emerald ash borer

MANHATTAN — The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA), along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB) in Miami County.

On Oct. 15, KDA officials removed EAB larvae from a girdled tree trap in Spring Hill in Miami County in cooperation with the city of Spring Hill, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA-APHIS-PPQ), and the Kansas Forest Service, according to a news release.

KDA officials sent the specimens to a USDA-APHIS-PPQ laboratory, which confirmed KDA’s findings on Oct. 16.

Emerald ash borer, a pest of ash trees native to Asia, was first discovered in North America near Detroit, Mich., in the summer of 2002. Since that time, the pest has killed millions of ash trees across the U.S.

It was first identified in Kansas in 2012 and has been identified in several counties in northeast Kansas in the last seven years, according to the release.

Trees become infested with EAB when adult beetles lay eggs on the bark, which hatch into larvae that bore tunnels into the tree.

EAB appears to prefer trees under stress but is capable of killing perfectly healthy trees, according to the release.

KDA encourages those in northeast Kansas to monitor their ash trees for signs of EAB and to be vigilant in not transporting any wood or tree materials from ash trees out of your county, including firewood, nursery stock, green lumber, and composted or uncomposted chips.

If you have ash trees on your property and would like assistance in identifying pests or preventing pests, contact the Kansas Forest Service or your local arborist for information and advice, the release states.

After confirmation by KDA and USDA-APHIS-PPQ, Kansas will expand the EAB quarantine — currently in place in Atchison, Doniphan, Douglas, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Shawnee and Wyandotte counties — to include Miami County.

The quarantine prohibits movement of regulated items from the quarantined area, including firewood of hardwood species or any living or dead material from ash trees (the genus Fraxinus.)

If you believe any of your ash trees may have the pest, whether or not you are in the quarantined area, notify KDA immediately at (785) 564-6698 or KDA.ppwc@ks.gov.

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