- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

DECORAH, Iowa (AP) - State officials say an invasive insect that kills ash trees has been discovered in southeast Iowa’s Louisa County.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture said Wednesday the presence of the emerald ash borer now has been confirmed in 32 Iowa counties. This is the third confirmed infestation in Iowa this year.

The insects are native to Asia and were first spotted in the U.S. in 2002, when they showed up in the Detroit area. Authorities say the insects have spread to at least 25 other states, killing millions of trees. Once infected, trees typically die within five years.

State officials say Iowa has about 52 million rural ash trees and about 3.1 million more in urban areas.

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