The confirmation last week of an infestation of emerald ash borer, or EAB, in Muscatine begs the question of when the ash-killing pest will be found in Davenport or Bettendorf.
"It's knocking on your door," said Mark Kintner, the EAB coordinator with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
EAB was confirmed in October 2013 in Rock Island, but so far this summer, there have been no further confirmations anywhere else in the Quad-Cities.
To help slow the spread, EAB teams in both Iowa and Illinois strongly urge people not to transport firewood because its movement increases the risk of spreading EAB infestations. Most infestations have been started by people unknowingly transporting infested firewood, nursery plants or sawmill logs.
Here are some questions about EAB that homeowners may have.
Q: Who can help me determine if my tree is infested?
A: Contact one of the following:
• Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, state entomologist office, 515-725-1465
• Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestry, 515-281-4915
• Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, 515-294-1101
Or you can call your local Extension office. In Scott County, the number is 563-359-7577, and in Rock Island County, the number is 309-756-978.
Q: Should I be thinking about treating my ash trees?
A: If you are a homeowner within 15 miles of a known infested area, you can consider treatment of a healthy ash tree during the growing season. That now includes everyone in the Quad-City metro area, Muscatine and parts of Cedar County.
Q: What are the treatments?
A: Ash trees can be protected with insecticide applied by a commercial pesticide applicator or the homeowner. Trees must be healthy, vigorously growing and valuable to your landscape. Already-infested trees with less than 30 percent dieback of the crown might be saved, but the tree’s crown will be misshapen.
Most of the treatments must be done each year for the life of the tree. There is one treatment that lasts for two years (Tree-Age).
Most products must be applied in early spring to be effective. Tree-Age can be trunk-injected throughout the growing season by a commercial pesticide applicator.
More information about treatment options is available at extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM2084.pdf.
Q: Where has EAB been found in Iowa?
A: In addition to Muscatine and Cedar counties, it has been found in the counties of Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Des Moines, Henry, Jasper, Jefferson, Union and Wapello.
Q: How about Illinois?
A: EAB has been found in the western Illinois counties of Rock Island, Henry, Whiteside and Bureau.
Q: Where can I go for more information?