BAR HARBOR – The National Park Service and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry are warning Mainers about an invasive forest insect, the emerald ash borer.
On Tuesday officials held a bark peeling workshop to see if the insect made its way to this area of Maine and to educate the public on this insect.
“The adult emerald ash borer lays her eggs on the bark of the tree and the larvae burrows underneath the bark and starts feeding on the living layer of the tree,” said Entomologist Colleen Teerling.
“It’ll feed for a year, spend the winter underneath the bark. You can see here it’s getting bigger and bigger,” she said.
Teerling said it only takes three to five years for the ash tree to die after the beetles lay their eggs.
The emerald ash borer has been found in Aroostook and York counties and most recently in Portland. Teerling said they entered the state through firewood.
“This devastation of the ash tree could really change the ecology of the area,” Landscaper Noah Sawyer said.
Anyone who thinks they have found the beetle or any other invasive species is asked to capture it, put it in the freezer and call officials at Acadia National Park at 288-3338 or the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry at 287-3200.
“It’s such a special area here on the island with the national park and it’s a beautiful place and we are going to lose trees for various reasons over the next few years, so to get ahead of the game and have a better understanding is really helpful,” Sawyer said.
Teerling said no emerald ash borers were found.
“Nothing at all, which is wonderful,” she said. “I did not want to find it here today.”