Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in Kansas City; Wood products quarantined in 3 area counties

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A destructive beetle native to Asia and first spotted in the United States in 2002 has made its way to Kansas City, according to city officials.

The Emerald Ash Borer poses no threat to humans or animals, but is a serious threat to the 4.6 million ash trees in the Kansas City region.

To prevent the spread of the half-inch metallic green beetle, a state and federal quarantine has been placed on wood products in Clay and Platte counties in Missouri and Wyandotte County in Kansas. The quarantine does not affect Jackson County, Mo.

Because of the quarantine, the city's leaf and brush drop-off sites at 1815 N Chouteau Trafficway and 10301 Raytown Road will not accept leaf and brush from Clay and Platte county residents after Jan. 12, 2013. Different drop-off sites for residents in those counties will be announced soon.

Since first appearing in the United States in Michigan 10 years ago, the Emerald Ash Borer has spread to other states including Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas.

The beetles have destroyed and/or infested tens of millions of ash trees in forest, rural and urban areas.

Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer infestation include:

• Sparse leaves and/or branches dying in the upper part of the tree
• New sprouts on the roots and/or lower trunk
• Short (3-5 inches) vertical splits in the bark
• Winding, S-shaped tunnels just under the bark
• Small white- or cream-colored larvae under the bark
• 1/8-inch D-Shaped holes on the bark
• Increased woodpecker activity on the tree

If you're unsure if you have ash trees or if they've been infested with Emerald Ash Borers, you are advised to contact a certified arborist or forester. You can visit www.mdc.mo.gov/node/7182 for information on how to hire a qualified professional.

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