BISMARCK, N.D. — Agriculture officials say emerald ash borers are getting closer to North Dakota.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring points out that Winnipeg is only about 65 miles north of the North Dakota border. Goehring says even with added precautions on the international border, it’s more important than ever for North Dakotans to prevent emerald ash border from reaching the state.

The Winnipeg infestation is now the closest to North Dakota. The previous closest infestation was the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

The insect’s larvae feed under the bark of ash trees, disrupting the movement of water and nutrients, and kill the tree within a few years.

North Dakota has more than 92 million ash trees.

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