Emerald ash borer has been found in Door County for the first time just south of Fish Creek. Door County will become the 22nd county in Wisconsin quarantined for EAB.
"Door County has a great deal of tourist traffic, and many cabins and campgrounds, so it is not a surprise to find EAB there. But it's always disappointing when you find it," said Brian Kuhn, director of the Bureau of Plant Industry in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). EAB is most commonly introduced to new areas when people bring firewood from infested areas.
The ash-destroying insect was discovered on private property in the Town of Gibraltar last week, and confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be EAB today.
The quarantine will apply to all of Door County. It prohibits ash wood products and hardwood firewood from being moved out of the county to areas that are not infested.
For private citizens, this means that neither residents nor tourists may take firewood from Door County to non-quarantine counties.
For businesses handling wood products that could carry EAB, it means that they must work with DATCP to assure that their products are pest-free before shipping.
The quarantine will be put in place temporarily by a Wisconsin emergency rule, until the U.S. Department of Agriculture completes the process to enact a federal quarantine.
Emerald ash borer is native to China and probably entered the United States on packing material, showing up first in Michigan about 10 years ago. It was first found in Wisconsin in 2008 in Washington County. Other quarantined Wisconsin counties are Brown, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Douglas, Fond du Lac, Jefferson, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha and Winnebago.
EAB adults lay eggs on the bark of ash trees in mid- to late summer. When the eggs hatch a week or two later, the larvae burrow under the bark for the winter and eat the wood, forming the characteristic S-shaped tunnels and destroying the tree's ability to take up nutrients and water. In summer, the adults emerge through D-shaped holes in the bark.
The Wisconsin Emerald Ash Borer Program includes partners from the following agencies: DATCP; DNR; UW-Madison; UW-Extension; USDA Forest Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
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· Keep a close watch for possible signs of EAB infestation: Thinning canopy, D-shaped holes in the bark, cracked bark, branches sprouting low on the trunk, and woodpeckers pulling at bark.
· Consider preventive treatments if your property is within 15 miles of a known infestation.
· Consider planting different species of trees that are not susceptible to EAB.
· Call a professional arborist, and visit emeraldashborer.wi.gov for detailed information.