Emerald ash borer confirmed in McLeod County

State officials have confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB) in another county.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) says a state employee noticed signs of EAB in trees east of Hutchinson recently. After closer inspection, EAB larvae were found.

MDA says that makes McLeod County the 42nd county in the state where EAB has been found.

The invasive insect was first found in Minnesota back in 2009.

It kills ash trees when its larvae tunnel under the bark and feed off the part of the tree that moves nutrients in the trunk, MDA says.

Officials note that infested trees often show signs like woodpecker holes and S-shaped tunnels under tree bark.

Because it’s the first time EAB was found in McLeod County, MDA has implemented an emergency quarantine, prohibiting the movement of firewood and ash material out of the county in an effort to reduce the spread.

The state has more information about EAB online.