Emerald ash borers on the move in Maine

Posted July 28, 2011, at 5:27 a.m.
Last modified July 28, 2011, at 9:54 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — People traveling through Maine have noticed purple objects strung in trees alongside the road, vaguely resembling the kite-eating tree in “Peanuts” cartoons.

Maine Forest Service officials said they are traps set up to ensnare a major threat to the state’s ash trees: emerald-colored beetles called ash borers. State Entomologist Dave Struble said Maine ash trees appear to have no native resistance, and the borer kills trees fast.

Their rapid spread has been attributed to movement of infested firewood and nursery stock.

Maine and other states have deployed traps in high-risk areas, such as campgrounds, nurseries, traffic corridors and high-value stands. The traps, triangular prisms about 2 feet long and 1 foot wide on each side, are coated with a nontoxic glue that ensnares adult beetles.