The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has placed Martin County under an emergency quarantine after the discovery of the emerald ash borer.
The MDA says several insects were captured in a trap northeast of the city of Welcome.
Because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Martin County, the MDA is enacting an emergency quarantine to limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the county. This will reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect.
Currently 15 other Minnesota counties are under full or partial quarantine to prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer. That includes Dodge County, which was the closest to Mankato that the EAB had been found until this discovery in Martin County.
Emerald ash borer larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk. The invasive insect was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009 and is now found in 30 states.
Minnesota is highly susceptible to the destruction caused by EAB. The state has approximately one billion ash trees, the most of any state in the nation.