The Missouri Department of Conservation confirmed an invasive tree-killing pest has been found in several new counties.
Officials said the presence of Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB, has been recently detected in Caldwell, Gasconade, Harrison, Hickory, Webster and Wright Counties.
Since the insect was first discovered in Missouri in 2008, it has spread to a total of 59 counties and the City of St. Louis.
Experts described EAB is a small, metallic green beetle that attacks ash trees.
MDC forest entomologist Robbie Doerhoff said it is likely that EAB is present in other counties, as well.
“After EAB arrives in a new location, it can take at least five years for the population to build to the point where we can detect it using specialized insect traps,” Doerhoff said. “We really rely on public reports to help us find new EAB locations, particularly in the winter months.”
MDC encouraged people to report possible infestations online at eab.missouri.edu or by calling MDC’s Forest Pest Hotline at 866-716-9974.