Emerald ash borer found in Faribault County for the first time

Emerald ash borer larvae taken from black ash logs Tuesday January 07, 2014 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo By Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been confirmed in Faribault County, Minnesota, for the first time. 

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) on Wednesday said while it was conducting a visual survey, MDA staff discovered an infestation of the invasive pest at a rest area off Interstate 90 near the City of Blue Earth.

Staff collected larvae and sent them in for confirmation. The larvae were confirmed to be EAB. 

EAB was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009 and has now been confirmed in 40 Minnesota counties. 

Because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Faribault County, the MDA is enacting an emergency quarantine of the county, which limits the movement of firewood and ash material out of the area. The MDA issues quarantines for all areas known to have EAB to reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect.

A virtual informational meeting is scheduled for Faribault County residents and tree care professionals. It's scheduled for 10-11 a.m. on Thursday, April 13. You can register for the meeting here

What is emerald ash borer?

EAB larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the tree's trunk. Due to this, the trees show several signs of infestation. Among them:

  • Woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of EAB because woodpeckers like to eat EAB larvae
  • Splitting tree bark could also be a sign of EAB because EAB tunneling can cause the bark to split