DNR responds to emerald ash borer beetles found in La Crosse County

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Concern is growing in La Crosse County after six emerald ash borer beetles were found in ash trees in the town of Medary.

This is the first time the invasive species has been confirmed to be in the county by the state of Wisconsin.

DNR area forestry leader Greg Edge said the DNR is working with other state agencies to make sure the ash borer doesn’t spread to the rest of western Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said it caught six of the tree killing pests in traps in ash trees along Verde Valley Road last week.

“Because of infestations in neighboring Vernon and Crawford counties, it was expected that eventually we would see it here. We hoped it would be a little longer,” Edge said.

The La Crosse area forestry leader said because our ash trees have no resistance to the Asian emerald ash borer, the trees suffer a slow death.

“If it’s been there for a while, it is very difficult or impossible to eradicate it or stop it. The first steps are for the DNR and the Dept of Agriculture to survey the area, to find out how large of an infestation and how long it has been there. From there we can make decisions about what kind of management is best to help people deal with the pest,” Edge said.

Edge said it’s crucial for all to obey the Department of Agriculture’s upcoming quarantine on moving firewood out of La Crosse County.

“The primary way it gets around is us humans moving it and firewood is the common way people move it around,” Edge said.

The Department of Agriculture said it will be officially issuing a firewood quarantine for La Crosse County in the next couple days.

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