- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 27, 2018

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A pest that has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America has been detected in Vermont.

State officials said Tuesday that the emerald ash borer was found in the town of Orange on Feb. 20.

Forest health officials are planning to do a survey to determine the extent of the infestation.

The beetle overwinters as larvae under the bark of ash trees, where it feeds on inner bark tissue.

The pest, which is native to Asia, was first found in Michigan in 2002. Infestations have been detected in 30 states and three Canadian provinces.

Ash trees make up about 5 percent of Vermont forests and are a common urban tree.

Residents and visitors are reminded to buy only local firewood to protect Vermont’s forests from the pest.

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