Minnesota Still Fighting Emerald Ash Borer, Despite Federal Change
By Rob Venette, MITPPC Director
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently removed federal quarantine restrictions on emerald ash borer (EAB), but rest assured that MITPPC is still dedicated to the control and management of EAB, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will continue the use of quarantines to limit its spread.
Emerald ash borer was first found in Minnesota in 2009 and is now in 25 of Minnesota’s 87 counties – less than a third. That rate of spread across the state is 60% slower than most states infested with EAB, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. This shows that our efforts here are effective, and emphasizes how important it is that we continue this work. Early detection and rapid management of new infestations – plus a few harsh winters – have also helped to limit spread.
MITPPC researchers are developing multiple promising management options for emerald ash borer, including treating with biologically derived insecticides, and developing a fungal-based biocontrol option. Concurrently, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will continue its work monitoring for EAB in un-infested areas, quarantining newly infested counties, and regulating movement of wood products around the state.
All hope is not lost for emerald ash borer in Minnesota. It has not yet been discovered in the extensive black ash forests of northern Minnesota, and its impact across the state is not inevitable. Remember to never move firewood, follow all MDA guidelines, and stay tuned to MITPPC for science-based solutions.