EDITOR'S NOTE: The reason for the quarantine not yet being declared has been corrected.
Within the next month, Perry County could be facing a quarantine on many of its wood products after Missouri Department of Agriculture field agents found invasive insects in Perryville, a county official said.
The agriculture department said a study of the ash borer's presence is going on throughout the summer.
Perry County economic development director Scott Sattler said the agents captured emerald ash borers in a Perryville park.
According to the department's website, the emerald ash borer is an Asian species of beetle found near Detroit in 2002.
Emerald ash borer larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, eventually killing them, the website states.
In July 2008, the beetle was discovered in Wayne County, Mo. Since then, wood products in nine more counties -- including Bollinger County in Southeast Missouri -- have been placed under quarantine, according to the website.
Agriculture department officials said Perry County is not yet under quarantine because a study is ongoing.
"Missouri's annual Emerald Ash Borer Survey is ongoing throughout the summer," Missouri Agriculture Department spokeswoman Christine Tew said in an emailed statement. "It would be premature to take action directly impacting our state's forestry and nursery products businesses based upon partial data. Any necessary decisions about the Missouri Department of Agriculture's quarantine for ash wood products in Bollinger, Carter, Clay, Iron, Madison, Reynolds, Shannon, Platte, Pulaski and Wayne counties, as well as any decisions about the possible expansion of Missouri's quarantines, will be addressed after the annual survey concludes this fall."
Although the insects attack only ash trees, a quarantine would affect all types of firewood, Sattler said.
"There's no way for enforcement agents to know if you have a piece of ash in there or not," he said.
Perry County, MO