SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive pest responsible for killing millions of ash trees in North America, has been discovered in Rock Island County. The tree-killing beetle was discovered in Hasselroth Park by an Illinois Department of Agriculture employee. Rock Island is the 31st Illinois county with a known infestation of EAB.
The emerald ash borer is a small, metallic-green beetle native to Asia. Its larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die. Since the first detection of the pest near Detroit, Mich., in 2002, it has killed more than 25 million ash trees.
Forty-one Illinois counties, including KNOX County currently are under quarantine to prevent the artificial or “human-assisted” spread of the beetle through the movement of infested wood and nursery stock. A new, new amended quarantine that includes Rock Island, Jo Daviess and Whiteside counties soon will be put in place, but not until after IDOA has finished inspecting monitoring traps that were placed in the state this year to track the beetle.