Emerald Ash Borer Found in Wyandotte County

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A pest that could prove deadly to the area’s ash trees has been confirmed in Wyandotte County, officials say.

According to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the emerald ash borer was found in Wyandotte County on August 29th. Officials say that the insect pest was found in an ash tree that showed symptoms of infestation during a visual survey.

Emerald ash borers were found in Platte County earlier this summer.

“In Kansas, we have worked for years on emerald ash borer prevention and surveillance efforts. These vigilant surveillance efforts allowed us to catch the pest early,” said Jeff Vogel, KDA Plant Protection and Weed Control program manager, in a statement. “We are making additional plans right now for increased surveillance efforts to prevent further spread of emerald ash borer.”

A native of Asia, the emerald ash borer was first identified in the U.S. near Detroit in 2002. Since then, officials say that it has killed millions of ash trees in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, Kentucky, New York, Iowa, Tennessee and Connecticut.

Officials estimate that the nation risks up to $60 billion because of the pest.

All ash trees are susceptible to infestation by the emerald ash borer. Trees become infested when adult beetles lay eggs on the bark. The eggs hatch into larvae that bore into the tree, tunneling between the bark and wood and disrupting water and nutrient movement, eventually killing the tree.

Emerald ash borer appears to prefer trees under stress but is capable of killing perfectly healthy trees.

Adult emerald ash borers are about one-half inch long and they emerge in late spring. The larvae feed just under the bark of a tree, which damages and eventually kills the tree.

Trees infested with emerald ash borer will have canopy dieback, water sprouts, bark splitting, serpentine-like galleries and D-shaped exit holes.

Immediately after confirmation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Kansas implemented an emergency intrastate quarantine for Wyandotte County to prevent further spread of emerald ash borer in Kansas. The quarantine prohibits movement of regulated items from the quarantined area, except under specific conditions established in the quarantine order.

Regulated items include:

  • The emerald ash borer, (Agrilus planipennis [Coleoptera: Buprestidae]), in any living stage of development;
  • Firewood of all hardwood (non-coniferous) species;
  • Nursery stock of the genus Fraxinus (Ash);
  • Green lumber of the genus Fraxinus (Ash);
  • Other material living, dead, cut, or fallen, including logs, stumps, roots, branches, and composted and uncomposted chips of the genus Fraxinus (Ash);
  • Any other article, product, or means of conveyance that an inspector determines presents a risk of spreading emerald ash borer and notifies the person in possession of the article, product, or means of conveyance that it is subject to the restrictions of the regulations.

The quarantine order is in effect for 90 days, officials said.

Vogel said if Kansans think any of their trees may have the pest, they should notify the KDA immediately at (785) 862-2180 or at ppwc@kda.ks.gov.

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