Emerald ash borers, invasive beetles that attack and kill ash trees, were found in Kearney, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture said Monday.
This is the first detection of the small, metallic-green insect outside eastern Nebraska, a department spokeswoman said in a news release.
The wood-boring insect was first found in Omaha in 2016.
Emerald ash borer larvae tunnel under the bark of ash trees, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients, which ultimately causes the tree to die. Signs of an infestation include tree thinning and dying branches.
Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Lancaster, Otoe, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington counties have remained under a quarantine since 2016 that regulates the movement of certain wood, ash timber products and green waste material.
“As more people recognize the signs and symptoms of EAB in ash trees and as EAB continues to move, we can expect to find additional infestations in Nebraska,” NDA Director Steve Wellman said in the release.
People can report emerald ash borer infestations to the NDA at (402) 471-2351, the Nebraska Forest Service at (402) 472-2944 or their local USDA office at (402) 434-2345.
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