Experts offer information, advice on emerald ash borer

The invasive emerald ash borer has been located in nine Iowa counties.

Fairfield residents learned from the experts how to deal with the invasive beetle infesting their ash trees.

The Fairfield Arbor Committee held a public meeting Thursday with Gretchen Paluch, Bureau Chief of the Iowa Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Bureau, Mark Schur, Entomologist with Iowa State Extension and Robin Pruisher, State Entomologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

The focus of Thursday's briefing was threefold; to give background and information on the emerald ash borer, to present treatment options and explain regulatory issues, such as state pesticide regulations.

There is a section of Iowa Code that deals with the state's authority to regulate pesticide use in different communities. The Pesticide Bureau aims to make sure all pesticides are being used properly and under the guidelines of Iowa code.

"We do have an enforcement area under the state pesticide programs that responds to reports and complaints pertaining to pesticide use," Paluch said. "That includes any inquiries to pesticide regulation, sale use and distribution."

Any questions regarding pesticide use in Iowa can be answered by clicking here or by calling the bureau at 515-281-8591.

As far as treatment options go, Schur told residents there are three; the "do nothing" option, preventative treatments like soil drenching or granular treatments or a curative option. Preventative options must be done to healthy trees and must be done every year for a long period of time. Insecticide treatment will not save a tree entirely from an EAB infestation, but when applied properly, it can control it.

Iowa was put under a state-wide quarantine due to EAB on February 4. So far, the beetle has been identified in nine counties, including Jefferson and Wapello Counties. But with the transportation of firewood and other materials from county to county, awareness of EAB is a state-wide issue.

"This year, we've done 36 meetings in one sort or another, either green industry or public meetings and I've got at least another dozen scheduled, so we're trying to get the word out across the state as best we can," Schur said.

To determine whether or not your tree is ash, click here. To determine whether your ash tree is infested by EAB, click here.