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May 09, 2018 05:05 PM

Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Sioux Falls

The South Dakota Department of Ag has confirmed an infestation of emerald ash borer has been discovered in northern Sioux Falls.  

It's been seen across the country, but Wednesday night we're learning about the first confirmed case of it in South Dakota.

The emerald ash borer is an exotic insect that's responsible for the loss of more than 100 million ash trees in the U.S. over the past two decades. 
Now that it's been detected in South Dakota, the Department of Ag has issued an emergency quarantine of an area in all of Minnehaha County, and parts of Lincoln and Turner Counties to try and prevent the spread of the infestation.

"So in order to slow the infestation outside of these boundaries we do not want any ash wood being moved at any time outside the quarantine area from now onward," Forest Health Specialist John Ball said. 

Officials say ash trees within the quarantine area should not be pruned either until after Labor Day to prevent further spread. 

Forestry officials say it was only a matter of time before the insect would make its way into South Dakota.

"The other nearest infestations are down in the Omaha area and the Welcome, Minnesota, Twin Cities and up in Winnipeg and Manitoba, so the fact was it was going to appear here eventually," Ball said. 

The agriculture department will host two forums on Thursday and Saturday at the Outdoor Campus to help people protect their ash trees against the pests.

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