Nebraskans are warned to be on guard for scams involving their trees. A destructive insect is confirmed in eastern Iowa and con artists may be preying on uninformed Nebraskans about the risks of the emerald ash borer.
Entomologist Mark Shour says don’t believe anyone who drives up and professes to be a tree doctor.
“We’re not supposed to be treating now, so really the best time to treat for the emerald ash borer preventively is in the spring, mid-April to mid-May,” Shour explains. He says that’s just one fact you can use to ward off the scam.
He says if someone offers to treat ash trees now, you can say no, that the best time to treat is in the spring, take a name and number and offer to call them later.
Entomologist Donald Lewis says they see people trying to scam money whenever pests are involved, from bedbugs to grubs in your lawn. Lewis says one common-sense approach can help you avoid getting taken.
Lewis says, “Be an informed consumer to make sure you’re getting what you need when you need it and that you’re getting a good deal in the process.”
Emerald ash borers are native to Asia and were first detected in Michigan in 2002. Since then, the insects have killed more than 50-million ash trees in the U-S as the infestation moves from state to state.
It was confirmed last week in the southeast Iowa town of Burlington, following another sighting in 2010 on an island in the Mississippi River.
The borer can spread when infested logs or firewood are moved from place to place. Nebraska officials have launched voluntary firewood restrictions but there are no signs of any infestations in the Husker State.