Officials warn holiday visitors of invasive pests

Posted July 03, 2011, at 9:33 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — As Maine’s holiday weekend reached full throttle, officials warned visitors to be wary of bringing invasive pests into the state.

The state Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging boat owners to carefully inspect their watercraft to make sure no invasive plants are attached. Of Maine’s nearly 6,000 lakes, only 33 of them are currently known to be infested with invasive aquatic plants, and the biggest pest is milfoil.

The Maine Forest Service is also encouraging visitors to buy their firewood in Maine to keep the Asian longhorned beetle out of the state. The Maine Legislature banned campers from bringing in out-of-state firewood last year.