EAB identified in Seward County for the first time

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) —The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), have confirmed  emerald ash borer (EAB) appearing in Seward and Washington counties for the first time.

It was identified via a trap in Seward county and via a tree in Washington county. in a trap in Seward county and a tree in Washington county. EAB is an invasive beetle that attacks and kills ash trees, which was first found in Omaha in 2016 and the most recent discovery was earlier this year in Kearney.

“While both of these finds of EAB are unfortunate, they are not unexpected,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman.  “We encourage people to continue to educate themselves on the signs and symptoms of EAB in ash trees, and report any signs of potential infestations.”

EAB is a small, metallic-green beetle that is about ½ inch long. The larvae of this wood-boring insect tunnel under the bark of ash trees, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients, ultimately causing the tree to die. EAB-infested ash trees will exhibit thinning or dying branches in the top of the tree.

Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Lancaster, Otoe, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington counties remain under a wood-related quarantine, which  prohibits ash nursery stock from leaving the area and regulating the movement of hardwood firewood, mulch, ash timber products, and green waste material. Quarantines are put in place to reduce the human-assisted spread of EAB into non-infested areas.

NDA will make any updates to the state EAB quarantine this fall, after adult flight is over and trapping has been completed.

Some suggestions on limiting the spread of EAB are:

  • Using locally-sourced firewood, burning it in the same county where you purchased it.
  • Consider treating healthy, high-value ash trees located within a 15-mile radius of a known infestation.
  • If you are in a non-infested county and think you have located an EAB infestation, please report it to the NDA at (402) 471-2351, Nebraska Forest Service at (402) 472-2944, or your local USDA office at (402) 434-2345.

For more information visit nda.nebraska.gov or nfs.unl.edu.

Categories: Nebraska News, Seward