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For Immediate Release
Friday, May 8, 2015



Dustin Vande Hoef, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, 515-281-3375
Kevin Baskins, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 515-725-8288
Laura Sternweis, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, 515-294-0775


New Detections of Invasive Pest Discovered in Urbandale and West Des Moines

Media Advisory:
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Iowa State University will host a press conference call at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 8.

Dial In:                        (866) 685-1580
Conference Code:       0009991695#


  • Robin Pruisner, IDALS State Entomologist
  • Mike Kintner, IDALS EAB Coordinator
  • Tivon Feeley, DNR Forest Health Specialist
  • Donald Lewis, ISU Extension and Outreach Entomologist
  • Jeff Iles, ISU Extension and Outreach Horticulturist
  • Jesse Randall, ISU Extension and Outreach Forester
  • Laura Jesse, ISU Entomology Diagnostician
  • Mark Shour, ISU Extension and Outreach Entomologist
  • Kevin James, Urbandale Assistant Director of Parks and Facilities
  • Jan Herke, Urbandale Director of Parks and Recreation
  • John Olds, West Des Moines Urban Forestry Supervisor
  • Sally Ortgies, West Des Moines Parks Supervisor
  • Jonathan Geno, Des Moines Public Works Director


News Release:
Friday, May 8, 2015 

DES MOINES – Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been positively identified for the first time in Polk County, making this the 22nd county in Iowa where this invasive beetle has been found. EAB kills all ash tree species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America.

EAB specimens were collected by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship from a public owned tree within the City of Urbandale and a residential tree in West Des Moines. These samples were forwarded to national identifiers for confirmation.

“Both discoveries came as the result of arborists notifying state officials after observing signs of EAB damage,” said Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship EAB and gypsy moth coordinator. “As this insect continues to spread and impact ash trees, there seems to be increasing awareness which can be used to our advantage for earlier detections in areas where EAB is not yet detected.”

Twenty-two Iowa counties now have confirmed EAB infestations. A statewide quarantine, issued on Feb. 4, 2014, remains in place, restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states.

“We still strongly urge Iowans to not move firewood long distances,” said State Entomologist Robin Pruisner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. “A large portion of Iowa is not showing signs of EAB infestation; let’s keep those areas EAB-free as long as possible by not moving wood that potentially harbors EAB or other tree pests. Be vigilant and report suspicious symptoms in counties that are not yet known to be infested to a member of the Iowa EAB Team.”

The Iowa EAB Team provides EAB diagnostic assistance to landowners and includes officials from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA Forest Service.

The Iowa EAB Team strongly cautions Iowans not to transport firewood across county or state lines, since the movement of firewood throughout Iowa or to other states poses the greatest threat to quickly spread EAB and other plant pests. Most EAB infestations in the United States have been started by people unknowingly moving infested firewood, nursery plants or sawmill logs. The adult beetle also can fly short distances, approximately 2 to 5 miles.

The window for soil-applied preventive treatment measures (soil injection, or soil drench, or granular application) is mid-April to mid-May. Basal trunk sprays with dinotefuran can be applied until mid-June and are most effective for trees less than 18” dbh – the diameter of the tree’s trunk at breast height, 4 ½ feet above the ground. Trunk injection generally can be done when the tree has a full canopy of leaves (from April through August), provided there is good ground moisture. If a landowner is interested in protecting a valuable and healthy ash tree within 15 miles of a known infestation, he or she should have landscape and tree service companies bid on work, review the bids and treat during the recommended treatment time.

Please contact Iowa EAB Team members to have suspicious looking trees checked in counties not currently known to be infested. The State of Iowa will continue to track the movement of EAB on a county-by-county basis. Before a county can be officially recognized as infested, proof of a reproducing population is needed and an EAB must be collected and verified by USDA entomologists.

To learn more about EAB and other pests that are threatening Iowa’s tree population, please visit www.IowaTreePests.com. Please contact any of the following members of the Iowa EAB Team for further information:

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FAQ on EAB in Polk County (PDF)

MAP: EAB confirmation location in Polk County (PNG)

MAP: EAB confirmation locations across Iowa(PNG)


Mailing Address: IDALS,  Wallace State Office Building,   502 E. 9th Street,  Des Moines, IA 50319:     PH: 515-281-5321
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