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EAB Confirmed in Shoreview, MN 7/22/11

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, July 21, 2011                                                          CONTACT: Allen Sommerfeld, Communications Coordinator 651.201.6185, Allen.Sommerfeld@state.mn.us

MDA confirms emerald ash borer infestation in Shoreview

 ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) today confirmed an emerald ash borer infestation in an ash tree in a Shoreview residential neighborhood.  The infestation was discovered after the property owner noticed signs of a potential infestation and contacted the City of Shoreview. City officials then called MDA.

Shoreview becomes the fourth Twin Cities community to have a confirmed emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation, joining St. Paul, Minneapolis and Falcon Heights.  MDA has also confirmed an infestation in rural Houston County, in southeastern Minnesota.  The new Shoreview infestation is notable because it is located nearly 10 miles from the nearest known infestation. However, it is not known at this time how the EAB arrived at the new site. MDA will be conducting surveys of the area and will be working with the City of Shoreview and Ramsey County to determine a best course of action for slowing the spread of the insect.

EAB is one of America’s most destructive tree pests.  Its larvae kill ash trees by tunneling into the wood and feeding on the tree’s nutrients.  Since its accidental introduction into North America, EAB has killed millions of ash trees in 15 states.  The metallic-green adult beetles are a half-inch long, and are active from May to September.  Infestation signs include one-eighth inch, D-shaped exit holes in ash tree bark and winding tunnels under the bark.

Since adult EAB are weak fliers, the biggest risk for spreading EAB comes from people unknowingly moving firewood or other ash wood products harboring EAB larvae.  That’s why officials often respond to EAB detections by issuing a quarantine that bars people from moving out of the county any items that may be infested with EAB.  The Shoreview detection site is located within Ramsey County, which is already quarantined for EAB due to the St. Paul infestation.

There are three easy steps Minnesotans can take to keep EAB from spreading:

1. Don’t transport firewood. Buy firewood locally from an approved vendor, and burn it where you buy it;

2. Be aware of the quarantine restrictions. If you live in a quarantined county, be aware of the restrictions on movement of products such as ash trees, wood chips, and firewood.  Details can be found online at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/eab/quarantinefaq.aspx; and,

3. Watch for signs of infestation in your ash trees.  If you suspect your ash tree could be infested by EAB, visit www.mda.state.mn.us and use the “Do I Have Emerald Ash Borer?” checklist.  Call MDA’s Arrest the Pest Hotline (888-545-6684) to report concerns.

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