The area of Illinois affected by the tree-destroying emerald ash borer is growing. With the addition now of Henry and Knox Counties, “we’re looking at 41 counties in the quarantine,”said Scott Shirmer, the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s emerald ash borer program manager, “and 26 of those are confirmed positive.” That’s more than one-third of the state by area.
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The metallic-green beetle was first discovered in the U.S. in Michigan in 2002, though Shirmer says it has spread as far west as Kansas, as far south as Tennessee, and to the Northeast. Shirmer says the easiest thing for you to do is: don’t move firewood. “One of the major factors in the spread of this pest is artificial movement by humans, whether it be wood material, such as firewood in particular; it can also be moved in any unfinished wood products.”