Consumer advocate Sandy Chalmers says scammers may claim a destructive insect is to blame for the trees’ condition, but she warns, don’t let them take advantage of you.
Chalmers says, “Unscrupulous, fly-by-night contractors are going door-to-door using the appearance of the trees to con people into spending money to have the trees treated for emerald ash borer or removed.”
While there are confirmed cases of emerald ash borers on the opposite corner of Iowa and in 14 other states, none are reported in Nebraska.
“There is an awareness out there that emerald ash borer is a problem,” she says. “These guys are going door-to-door taking advantage of people’s concern for their trees.”
Infestations of the insect have wiped out more than 50-million ash trees in the U-S over the past decade, but none have been discovered within 300 miles of Nebraska.
Larvae of the beetle were discovered on an island in the Mississippi River off the shore of far northeast Iowa’s Allamakee County in 2010, but nothing closer to the Husker State.
Chalmers says property owners should be skeptical about anyone offering services door-to-door with a high pressure sales pitch.
“Take the time, do your homework, find out what kind of chemical treatments are appropriate for application at this time of year,” she says.
Chalmers also suggests checking with local tree care specialists.