nb-brown-spruce-longhorn-beetle

A single adult brown spruce longhorn beetle was found in Kouchibouguac National Park in 2011. (Department of Natural Resources)

New Brunswick has been declared free of the brown spruce longhorn beetle, an insect that can do major damage to the environment and to the forest industry.

A single adult beetle was found in Kouchibouguac National Park in the eastern part of the province in 2011, but no others have shown up since, said George Brown, a horticulture specialist with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Still, CFIA will continue to monitor about 200 traps across the province, said Brown.

"The province of Nova Scotia is infested and there are restrictions in place to contain and restrict the movement of spruce materials leaving Nova Scotia," he said.

"So we do surveillance in New Brunswick and P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Quebec to prove and support the fact that we are free of the brown spruce longhorn beetle."

The centimetre-long beetles have destroyed several thousand trees in Halifax's Point Pleasant Park since its presence there was first confirmed in 1999.

CFIA suspects the Kouchibouguac beetle was transported to New Brunswick on firewood.

The beetles aren't strong flyers so keeping wood from infected areas out of the province is very effective, said Brown.

Anyone going camping this summer should buy their firewood locally, he said.

Trees containing brown spruce longhorn beetles have a tell-tale white, waxy sap, the result of larvae chewing soft tissue under the bark. They cause so much internal damage to one of the province's most important exports that the tree can no longer circulate food.

Adult beetles emerge through oval holes in the bark to mate and lay eggs.