The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says a brown spruce longhorn beetle identified in Memramcook earlier this month may have come from highway traffic from Nova Scotia, though it is still investigating.
In 2011 a brown spruce longhorn beetle (BSLB) was located in Kouchibouguac National Park. The CFIA believes it came into the province on campers' firewood from Nova Scotia.
Like the 2011 bug, there is a chance this is a lone beetle, brought into the area by humans, rather than through species proliferation.
"The fact that it's close to the highway and it's basically the corridor in New Brunswick between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, that is something we're considering as well during our investigation," says Patricia Ouellette, Regional Operations Coordinator with the CFIA.
The insect is an invasive species from Europe. It was first detected in Nova Scotia in 1999, where it has since devastated thousands of trees.
"These beetles will attack spruce trees and can kill them over time," says Ouellette. "So we really want to contain the beetle, or stop it from spreading as much as possible to be able to protect the rest of the forest in Canada."
The agency is now investigating the area for infestation, setting an additional three traps, plus sending employees to seek out signs such as sap trails dripping down trunks, 4mm diameter insect exit holes in spruce trees, and browning or yellowing spruce tops.
Investigators have not found additional beetles in the in the roughly two weeks since setting additional traps.