Officials: Emerald ash borer spreads to 78 Missouri counties
COLUMBIA— An invasive beetle that’s deadly to ash trees has now spread to 78 counties in Missouri, state conservation officials say.
The Missouri Department of Conservation has reported the spread of the emerald ash borer, which is up from the 53 Missouri counties reported last August. The pest has most recently been found in Chariton, Lafayette and Moniteau counties, KSDK reported.
The larvae of the metallic green beetle burrow under the bark of ash trees. The trees typically die within a few years.The beetle is native to Asia and was first detected in Missouri more than 10 years ago.
Humans have inadvertently aided the spread by moving infested firewood from place to place.
The department predicts the invasive pest will be found statewide within the next few years and is asking anyone with ash trees to either remove them or treat them with an insecticide.