Invasive, Tree-Eating Beetle Found in Gaithersburg
Officials say the shimmering green beetle is responsible for destroying millions of ash trees throughout the United States.
An invasive beetle that poses a threat to the state's ash tree population has made its way to Gaithersburg, according to The Gazette.
The emerald ash borer beetle was found in a local tree in late June and is the first sighting in Montgomery County, though the species has already been spotted in six other counties this year, according to the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
The beetles, native to China and eastern Asia, were first found in the United States in 2002, and in Maryland in 2003, according to the department. Officials say they already have destroyed millions of ash trees throughout the United States.
The beetles spread by hitching a ride on things like shipping pallets and untreated firewood brought to camping grounds, which is why the department takes special measures to contain the beetle population. (See the federal quarantine area as a PDF on the right.)