The destructive emerald ash borer has been discovered in Grundy County, bringing the number of Iowa counties in which the invasive insect has been verified to 65.
According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, samples were collected from a city-owned ash tree in Dike — a city west of Waterloo — after a state employee noticed trees in the area showed signs of duress. The sample was confirmed to be an emerald ash borer.
Larvae of the beetle bore beneath the bark of the tree. As they grow, they cut off the flow of nutrients to the tree, eventually killing it.
Over the summer, the city of Cedar Rapids stepped up its removal of ash trees from city right of way after finding the exotic beetle was “widespread” in the community.