MASON CITY, Iowa (FOX 47) -- The invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has now made its way to Mason City. According to city officials, it's the first discovery of the insect in Cerro Gordo County.
According to a news release Wednesday afternoon from the city, EAB larvae have been found in trees in both Mason city and Fort Dodge.
The pest has now been confirmed in 73 Iowa counties.
EAB feeds under the bark of ash trees during its larval stage. That process damages and eventually kills the trees by disrupting the transport of water and nutrients. Infested trees typically die within two to four years.
While the adult EAB can fly short disances, experts say long-distance spread is aided by humans.
The entire state of Iowa is under quarantine for EAB. The public is asked to help limit EAB spread by only using locally-sourced firewood where they are going to burn it.
Anyone in Iowa who suspects an infested ash tree in a new location is encouraged to contact one of the following:
- Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, State Entomologist Office: 515-725-1470
- Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Entomology: 515-294-1101
- Iowa Department of Natural Resources: 515-725-8453