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Invasive beetles spread into Indiana County

| Saturday, July 25, 2009

Invasive beetles that have killed more than 30 million ash trees in seven states, including Pennsylvania, have spread into Indiana County, state officials said Friday.

Emerald ash borer beetles were found near Ewings Mill, prompting the state Department of Agriculture to add the county to its list of 10 counties where firewood is quarantined.

To slow the beetles' spread, hardwood firewood, as well as ash nursery stock, green lumber and any other ash material — including logs, stumps, roots, branches and hardwood wood chips — cannot be transported out of the county. Violators face fines and jail time.

"Consumers need to heed the quarantine when traveling and camping this summer — not just in the quarantined areas, but throughout Pennsylvania — to prevent any further spread of the beetle," Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said in a statement.

Other counties under quarantine are Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence, Mercer, Mifflin, Washington and Westmoreland.

Adult emerald ash borers are about the length of a penny and sparkling green. Their larvae — which kill trees by burrowing under the bark — are white and about an inch long.

Additional Information:

Emerald ash borer beetle

People who think they have seen an emerald ash borer beetle should call the Department of Agriculture at 1-866-253-7189. For more information about the quarantine designed to limit the beetles' spread, call Walt Blosser at 1-717-772-5205. For more information about emerald ash borers, call Sven-Erik Spichiger at 1-717-772-5229, or visit this web site .

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