- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 8, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - State officials say an invasive insect that kills ash trees has been confirmed for the first time in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture says Wednesday the beetle was found in a Pulaski Park tree in Omaha. With Nebraska added to the list, there are now 27 states where the pest has been confirmed since 2002.

Department Director Greg Ibach says the beetle’s presence in the state is not a surprise considering nearby states that already have infestations, including Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.

The insects are native to Asia and were first spotted in the U.S. in 2002, when they showed up in the Detroit area. Once infected, trees typically die within five years, though healthy trees can be treated to resist the bug.

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