Hunt under way Down East for invasive insects

Undated photo of hemlock tree infested with the hemlock woolly adelgid.
Courtesy of Maine Department of Agriculture
Undated photo of hemlock tree infested with the hemlock woolly adelgid.
Posted Feb. 05, 2012, at 9:46 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Forest Service says a survey crew has begun a search Down East for signs of an invasive insect that’s already damaged trees along southern Maine’s coast.

A Forest Service crew is looking for evidence of hemlock woolly adelgid on Mount Desert Island. The crew also will work with national park and U.S. Forest Service staff to survey in Acadia National Park before moving on to coastal Waldo, Hancock and Washington counties.

Forest entomologist Allison Kanoti says the invasive insect was reported last year at two sites on the island and in January in Alfred, suggesting that the insect population is moving inland and up Maine’s coast.

The hemlock woolly adelgid resembles miniature cotton balls. It causes infested trees to have off-color needles and eventually kills them.

 

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