What Is Being Done

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship works in cooperation with several partners to better educate the public and to detect the emerald ash borer. Among our closest partners are the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), and Iowa State University Extension. We also work closely with many communities and organizations. The following are the highlights of our detection activities thus far.

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The Purple Sticky Trap Survey

Link - What's Purple, Sticky, and Hangs in an Ash Tree ?

The purple sticky trap survey had been conducted on a yearly basis since 2009 with an emphasis on placing traps in high risk areas such as campgrounds and public places. Although an official survey has not been done in Iowa since 2013, the purple traps are still used today to help confirm areas where EAB is suspected to occur.

In past years these traps were placed throughout northeast Iowa, and were placed by following a 1.5 mile grid patern. This was done in anticipation of detecting emerald ash borer as it moved out of the quarantine areas in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

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1,220 purple sticky traps were put in place by June 2012. The majority of these traps were established in 12 northeast Iowa counties, and also in public places that are often visited by people throughout the state. Two of these traps were confirmed as positive for EAB with one beetle each. Both of these positive trap locations were in Allamakee county, one trap near New Albin, and another trap near Lansing. No other positive traps were found outside Allamakee county for the 2012 trap season.

Approximately 361 purple traps had been installed in areas considered as a higher risk for emerald ash borer during the 2013 season, and no EAB beetles were found outside of areas where emerald ash borer infestations are known to occur.

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The last official purple trap survey was done in 2013. As EAB becomes more established throughout the Midwest, we can expect fewer federal dollars available to conduct purple trap surveys, especially in areas where EAB is most likely to already exist.

Inspecting Local Ash Trees

The numbers of local ash trees that have been inspected from 2009 and continuing through 2018 has been considerable; although these numbers are not officially recorded. Most of these trees are owned by concerned Iowa citizens who have called or emailed inquiries regarding EAB. The surveying of ash trees continues throughout the State of Iowa. This work will continue in order to locate pockets of EAB infestation, and to help guide property owners and municipalities with emerald ash borer concerns.

It is important to note that this has been our best survey method, as the positive locations of Burlington, Fairfield, Mechanicsville, and other locations were all found through the help of concerned property owners who have inquired about EAB. These inspections continue to be done in cooperation with Iowa State University Extension, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS).

Link - Iowa State University Extension - Trees of Iowa: An Interactive Key

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has also conducted visual inspections of 1,291 ash trees in communities and public areas of 58 counties during 2012. As of early 2016, they have completed 331 community urban forest inventories and community forest management plans to assist communities to prepare and deal with EAB and other pest issues. Current plans are to continue with community inventories and management plans over the next 2 to 3 years.

Link - Iowa Community Tree Inventories

The USDA has also conducted outreach and inspection at a variety of high risk sites throughout the state. These efforts included visiting 120 firewood dealers, 121 logging operations, 46 pallet manufacturers, 131 private campgrounds, 93 sawmills and 274 tree services. This work is currently being continued.

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Public Workshops and Meetings

Several informational meetings and workshops for the public have also been conducted in communities throughout Iowa in recent years. Workshops are scheduled by Iowa State University Extension and are intended for any person who may be interested in emerald ash borer, or anyone who may be doing survey work in their own communities.

People who may be interested in attending a workshop for 2018 can find the scheduling and locations by clicking here, or by going to Iowa State University Extension - Pest Management and the Environment page.

Although more emerald ash borer locations are being found in Iowa, Iowa State University specialist encourage Iowa homeowners to evaluate their ash trees and to hold off on any insecticide prevention, unless they are within 15 miles of confirmed emerald ash borer infestations.

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The Iowa State University Extension publication, "Common Problems of Ash Trees" that is available by clicking the link above, is a good document for identifing ash trees and also some of the problems commonly associated with them. If you have symptomatic ash trees and suspect emerald ash borer as an introduction to your neighborhood, we would appreciate a chance to take a closer look. Please let us know by visiting our Contact us page.

Public Relations

The Iowa Emerald Ash Borer Team are active in educating the public about the risk associated with the transportation of firewood through Iowa. This effort is directed toward businesses who sell firewood, and to individuals who may bring firewood across state lines. We have done a number of public relations campaigns, advertising, and billboards that are designed to educate people about the threat.

Link: See our Billboards

Link: See our Magazine Ads

Link: Don’t Move Firewood!

Listen to our Radio Ads: Talking Trees, and Moving Wood

Iowa State Fair Displays... and much more.