The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB) in Faribault County for the first time. There are now 40 counties in the state, including Faribault, with EAB.
While conducting a visual survey for EAB, MDA staff discovered an infestation of the invasive pest at a rest area off I-90 westbound near the city of Blue Earth. Staff collected larvae and sent them in for confirmation. Federal identification confirmed emerald ash borer.
EAB was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009. The 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. Often, the trees show several signs of infestation because of this. Woodpeckers like to feed on EAB larvae, and woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of emerald ash borer. Also, EAB tunneling can cause the bark to split open, revealing characteristic S-shaped galleries underneath.
Because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Faribault County, the MDA is enacting an emergency quarantine of the county, which limits the movement of firewood and ash material out of the area.
The MDA issues quarantines for all areas known to have EAB to reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect.
A virtual informational meeting for residents and tree care professionals in Faribault County will be held on Thursday, April 13, 2023. Experts from the MDA will give a brief presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.