The emerald ash borer has turned up in two new counties in Illinois: Peoria and Tazewell. This is the bug that kills ash trees, and it has been spotted now in residential areas of Dunlap, Peoria and Minier.

This is a problem for two reasons, says Scott Schirmer, the emerald ash borer program manager for the Illinois Department of Agriculture. “The fact that it’s beyond the borders of where we assume it to be and understand it to be, and also the fact that it’s out beyond the area where we allow movement of wood, so it’s significant two-fold,” he said.

 

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Schirmer says these two counties will be added to the quarantine area, bring the quarantine to 51 counties, half the counties in the state. The bug arrived in the United States in 2002, turning up in Michigan. It appeared in Illinois in 2006 and is blamed for the loss of 30 million to 40 million ash trees here since.

The quarantine bans the transportation of unfinished wood and wood products across the quarantine boundary. The existing quarantine covers the following counties: Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Cook, Cumberland, DeKalb, DeWitt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Marion, Marshall, McHenry, McLean,  Mercer, Moultrie, Ogle, Piatt, Putnam, Rock Island, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Vermilion, Warren, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio / www.AltonDailyNews.com)