New Brunswick

Invasive emerald ash borer confirmed in Oromocto

The emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Oromocto, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced on Wednesday.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency restricts movement of wood from affected site, surveying extent of spread

The emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees across Canada and the United States. (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

The emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Oromocto, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, the federal agency confirmed the invasive beetle had been recorded in a new location in New Brunswick but declined to say where until the property owner was informed.

The pest, which is responsible for the destruction of millions of trees throughout North America, was previously reported in Edmundston, about 300 kilometres north of Oromocto, in May 2018.

The inspection agency and its partners are now conducting additional surveys to determine whether the emerald ash borer has become established in the Oromocto area, which is about 20 kilometres southeast of Fredericton, and if so, to what extent, according to a news release.

The movement of all ash material, such as logs, branches and woodchips, and all other species of firewood from the affected site is restricted, effective immediately, in hopes of preventing the spread.

Individual beetles can travel 400 to 700 metres annually, but the population can spread much farther and faster when it piggybacks on firewood being transported by people.

Fredericton is keeping an eye out for any signs of adult emerald ash borer beetles, left, and larvae. (Government of Ontario)

Fredericton, which has tens of thousands of ash trees, has been closely monitoring for the pest that burrows into the trunks of trees, disrupting the ability of the trees to feed and eventually kills them.

Traps have been set across New Brunswick to capture individual insects to help map their spread.

The emerald ash borer was also recently found in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Que., about 90 kilometres from the New Brunswick border.

Emerald ash borers burrow into the trunks of ash trees, disrupting the ability of the trees to feed. (Invasive Species Centre)

The species is native to China and eastern Asia, but landed in Canada in 2002.

It poses no threat to human health but poses "a major economic and environmental threat to urban and forested areas of North America," the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said.