Posts tagged firewood

Emerald ash borer alert – new infestation found just miles from Iowa in Wisconsin

This came out today from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Spokesman Dustin Vande Hoef said the emerald ash borer infestation discovered in Wisconsin – the closest its ever been to Iowa – appeared to be well-established. The best action Iowans can take to prevent an infestation – which most experts believe is only a matter of time – is to buy firewood locally and not bring it into the state from quarantined areas such as Michigan, where the emerald ash borer was first discovered in the United States and where the beetle has already decimated ash trees.

Here is the press release that came out today:

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

IOWA OFFICIALS HIGHLIGHT EFFORTS TO PREVENT AND DETECT EMERALD ASH BORER FOLLOWING NEW DISCOVERY IN WISCONSIN

New Infestation Discovered Across Mississippi River in Wisconsin

 

DES MOINES – Following the discovery of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) just across the Mississippi River from the Iowa-Wisconsin border, members of the Iowa Emerald Ash Borer Team today highlighted steps being taken to prevent an infestation in Iowa and detect the beetle if it is in the state.  EAB is an invasive beetle that feeds on ash trees and eventually kills them.

 

The new infestation was found near Victory, Wis. on the east bank of the Mississippi River across from Allamakee County in Northeast Iowa. This new infestation is less than 5 miles southeast of the Minnesota-Iowa border.

 

The Iowa Emerald Ash Borer Team includes officials from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the USDA Forest Service

 

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is native to the Orient, and was introduced in the United States near Detroit, Mich. in the 1990s.  Although not yet found in Iowa, EAB has more potential for future harm to Iowa forests and urban communities than any other insect currently being dealt with in the United States.

 

EAB kills all ash (Fraxinus) species by larval burrowing under the bark and eating the actively growing (cambium) layers of the trees. EAB has been killing trees of various sizes in neighborhoods and woodlands. Ash is one of the most abundant native tree species in North America, and has been heavily planted as a landscape tree in yards and other urban areas. According to recent sources, Iowa has an estimated 58 million rural ash trees and approximately 30 more million urban ash trees.

 

The movement of out-of-state firewood to and through Iowa poses the greatest threat to spread EAB.  Areas currently infested are under federal and state quarantines, but unknowing campers or others who transport firewood can spark an outbreak.

 

Each member of the Iowa Emerald Ash Borer Team is taking steps to monitor Iowa’s ash trees and ensure that the beetle has not spread into Iowa by examining high risk sites.  The Iowa EAB team has defined high risk sites as locations where people would bring out-of state wood, such as campgrounds, nurseries and sawmills.

 

DNR estimates there are up to as many as 5 million ash trees in Allamakee County, this represents about 5% of the trees in the forested areas of this county.  Allamakee is the most forested county in Iowa with 42% of the land covered by trees (176,000 acres of forest).  Iowa agencies in cooperation with USDA-APHIS and Forest Service will be working together to survey for EAB.

 

Monitoring efforts include visual surveys at high risk sites by Iowa State University, DNR’s placement of sentinel ash trees that are intentionally stressed so that they are more attractive to EAB, and the placement of purple sticky traps around the state that attracts and traps the insect by a collaborative effort among APHIS and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

 

Team members will be working with Wisconsin and Minnesota officials in response to this new discovery and will be conducting additional visual surveys in the area in the coming weeks.

 

To learn more about EAB and other pests that are threatening Iowa’s tree population please visit www.IowaTreePests.com.

Advertisements

Leave a comment »

Firewood pests

 The following is from  Linn County Master Gardener, Claire Smith:

 

   Are you ready for the cold weather?  It’s been just plain chilly the past few mornings!  Does it make you think it’s time to get wood ready for your fireplace?  Is there a better way to spend a snowy day than with hot chocolate, a great book and a toasty fire? But, beware of bugs!  While the Box Elders and Beetles seemed not as prolific this summer, be careful you’re not transporting a host of other multi-legged critters along with your fire wood.

    Firewood is best kept out of the weather. Store it in your garage, a storage shed, or at the least protected under a roof. Whether you have your firewood delivered or chop your own, it’s a good idea to keep the wood up off of the ground.  Firewood holders with metal legs are wonderful as it is difficult for the insects to crawl up into the wood.  Insects will often seek a moist area to reside, so if a metal holder is not probable, at least use wood pallets to get the wood off the ground allowing it to dry and preventing rotting.

    To minimize the number of insects coming into your home, let the firewood you will use in one or two days set outside in the cold for one or two days prior to moving it inside as insects need a couple of days to warm up before becoming active   Never, never use insecticide on your firewood.  There is really little benefit to treating the wood, plus you create a potentially dangerous situation with vapors emitted into your living room. 

    Long horned beetles, metallic wood-boring beetles and bark beetles attack dead and dying trees.  Pillbugs, centipedes, millipedes and ground beetles are the most common insects found in firewood.  These insects are basically just a nuisance. None are harmful to you or pets so when you  see an occasional insect emerge from the wood in your house simply remove it from the premises, then enjoy the ambiance you’ve created.

 

Leave a comment »