DALTON, Mass. — The invasive emerald ash borer was found by state officials in Dalton. The finding the first confirmed in the state.
According to the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, the beetle was detected on Aug. 31 and confirmed by federal officials on Sept. 6. The ash borer kills trees by burrowing into the bark - stripping it off the tree. The ash trees can die within two years of an infestation.
The borer was found in Saugerties, N.Y., two years ago and Albany last year but Dalton finding is the first in Massachusetts. The state has previously installed hundreds of purple traps across the county to monitor for the beetle.
"The emerald ash borer brings a very serious threat to our ash trees and we are not taking its presence lightly," DCR Commission Ed Lambert said in a press release on Wednesday. "We are taking swift action to address the infestation and are working to mitigate any impact an infestation could bring."
The beetle can be spread through areas via pallets from China or firewood. An adult ash borer can fly up to a half mile from its host and migrate that way.
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