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March is time to search for emerald ash borer

Published 9:30am Sunday, March 16, 2014

ST. PAUL — As spring approaches, bug experts say now is the best time for Minnesotans to look for signs of emerald ash borer.

Emerald ash borer with wings open -- Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota Extension
Emerald ash borer with wings open — Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota Extension

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture urges homeowners to search their ash trees for potential infestations, especially those in and near the quarantined counties of Hennepin, Ramsey, Houston and Winona.

Entomologist Mark Abrahamson said it’s an ideal time for homeowners to go into their yards and look.

He recommended looking for woodpecker damage. Woodpeckers like ash border larvae, so woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of the bug. And it recommends checking for bark cracks. Border larvae tunneling under the bark can cause it to split, revealing S-shaped tunnels underneath.

Those who suspect an ash tree may be infested should contact a tree care professional, a city forester or the agriculture department.