KIMT News 3 – A pest problem in eastern Iowa has led to a quarantine to be put on the movement of firewood state wide.
The Emerald Ash Borer has been found on trees in Waterloo and discoveries like this have been happening in parts of Iowa since 2010.
This particular type of insect migrates and infects different areas by being transported on things like firewood.
The Emerald Ash Borer can only fly up to a mile in a year and the invasive species has managed to move from Detroit to Iowa in just ten years.
District forester, Jason Walker says that the announcement of the statewide quarantine is to help prevent the bug from spreading to surrounding areas.
“Movement of firewood in Iowa is probably not as big a deal as it was with the individual quarantined counties,” Walker said, “but we’re trying to keep it in the state and not moving the bug further out-of-state, which is the big issue.”
Infected trees are not east or cheap to deal with.
When an Ash tree is infected, it dies and then becomes a liability for anyone around it, especially in Iowa where strong storms have a tendency to move in and develop quickly.
In Waterloo, there is an estimated 4,400 trees infected by the insect and Walker says removing the tree will cost up to $700 to $1,000 per tree.
There are other options, but there is just no escaping the high cost.
“There are treatment options available, but they can be quite expensive and they have to be done several years continually,” Walker said, “In my opinion, the costs typically are prohibitive of being an effective treatment.”
Being mindful of leaving firewood at campsites or not bringing any firewood with you as you leave the state will help keep other surrounding states from becoming infected.