Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week

Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed May 18-24 as Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Awareness Week in an effort to draw attention to the destructive bug and encourage Minnesotans to not spread the pest around the state.

With nearly one billion ash trees, the most of any state in the nation, Minnesota could suffer a great loss from EAB. The insect is a major threat to the tourism and lumber industries, and the state's natural landscapes and recreational areas.

There's something simple Minnesotans can do to ensure they're not helping spread EAB. Don't move firewood. Here's why:

-- While EAB only lives in ash trees, once firewood is cut it's hard to tell if it's ash or some other wood. Therefore, you may not know if there's a potential to spread EAB.

-- Even if a pile of firewood has been seasoned for a year, there's still a possibility it may be infested with emerald ash borer. The bug can live in cut firewood for up to two years.

-- Hennepin, Ramsey, Winona and Houston counties are under quarantine for EAB. That means it's illegal to move firewood out of those counties without treatment under the permission of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

What should you do to protect Minnesota's trees and ensure you're not moving emerald ash borer?

-- When going on vacation or heading to the cabin for the weekend, buy firewood near your destination, burn it there, and don't bring any back with you.

-- Look for heat treated firewood. This method is certified by the MDA and is known to kill any pests that may be living in the wood.

For more details on emerald ash borer, visit MDA's website at www.mda.state.mn.us/eab.

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