MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Agriculture officials say the invasive species emerald ash borer (EAB) has been discovered in southern Minnesota’s Rice County.

On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) said a Faribault Public Works Department employee contacted the MDA after noticing an ash tree with EAB symptoms on a private property in Faribault.

MDA staff found live EAB larvae and samples were collected for federal identification.

The discovery means that Rice County is the 22nd county in Minnesota with EAB confirmed.

MDA officials have enacted an emergency quarantine in the county to limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the county.

There are several things residents should look for when checking their ash trees for emerald ash borer.

– Look for woodpecker damage. Woodpeckers like EAB larvae and woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of EAB.

– Check for bark cracks. EAB larvae tunneling under the bark can cause the bark to split open, revealing the larval (S-shaped) tunnels underneath.

– Contact a professional. If you feel your ash tree may be infested with EAB, contact a tree care professional, your city forester, or the MDA at arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us or 1-888-545-6684.

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