Emerald ash borer found in SW Minnesota county for first time

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has issued an "emergency quarantine" on wood movement after officials confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer for the first time ever in Rock County, Minnesota.

According to a news release from the MDA, an arborist working in Rock County discovered the infestation, which included larvae samples being found near Beaver Creek about 5 miles from the South Dakota border. Federal identification confirmed the samples as emerald ash borer.

There are now 51 counties in the state that have confirmed emerald ash borer cases.

First discovered in Minnesota in 2009, emerald ash borer insect larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk. Woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of emerald ash borers, as they like to feed on the larvae.

The quarantine implementation is designed to limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the area, the MDA says.