Jul 26, 2013
07:52 AMConnecticut Today
Emerald Ash Borer Invades Cheshire, Hamden, Naugutuck Valley Towns
They aren’t the ugliest of bugs.
Actually, the species’ common name reflects its rather precious verdant hue.
Do not be fooled. The emerald ash borer is destructive and invasive, and it has no business outside its native region, which just so happens to be the other side of the planet.
A year ago this month one of the nuisance bugs was found in Connecticut, and now they are known to reside in nine towns and cities in the state--Hamden, Prospect, Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Waterbury, Oxford, Middlebury and Cheshire.
Their numbers are multiplying exponentially, and that has area foresters uneasy. “We’re very nervous,” said Robert Ricard, a senior professor with the University of Connecticut’s Extension Forestry Program.
These bugs feed strictly on ash trees and over the past decade have taken down as many as 100 million in North America. In Connecticut, there are three species of ash tree–white, green or red, and black–and when hungry ash borers are around, all colors of ash tree are in trouble.
“It’s a very ravenous pest that’s causing destruction west of us, and we knew it was just a matter of time before reaching us,” Dr. Ricard further said. “Our ash trees are already under stress; coupled with this, and we’re in jeopardy.”
According to the Web site www.emeraldashborer.info, in the United States the beetle was first discovered near Detroit in 2002. It likely arrived by way of solid wood packing material en route from Asia, because people often provide them with transportation, even if unwittingly.