State: insect fatal to ash trees found in southwest Missouri

     (AP) – The Missouri Department of Conservation says a beetle that

is fatal to ash trees has spread to southwest Missouri.

     The department says the emerald ash borer was recently found in Laclede

County. It is the first time the insect was found in southwest Missouri. It has

now been found in 31 Missouri counties, with most confirmed cases in southeast

Missouri, Kansas City and St. Louis.

     The small, metallic green beetle attacks only ash trees. The insect’s larvae

burrow into the bark of the trees, killing them within three to four years.

     The insect was first found in Missouri in 2008. It likely entered the state

through infested firewood.

     Officials have cut down thousands of healthy ash trees in an effort to slow

the insect’s spread.


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