Forests and Lakes – For People – Forever ®

Campers: Transporting firewood can move forest pests

May 29, 2013

Two introduced insect species that ride in firewood, the emerald ash borer (EAB) and the Asian long-horned beetle (ALB), have the potential to do more damage to Maine’s forests than any of our native insect pests.

Emerald ash borer is one of the scariest insects that can be moved with firewood.  Experts believe it has the potential to kill all ash in North America.   Emerald ash borers have already killed millions of trees in the mid- Atlantic and mid-west, and it was found this year in Concord, NH.

Emerald Ash Borer Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Emerald Ash Borer
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Asian Long-horned beetles kill maples, birches, poplars, and willows.  A very large infestation was found in 2008 in Worcester, MA, not far south of Maine.  It is also found in New York, New Jersey, and Toronto, Canada.

Asian Longhorned Beetle, Photograph credit: Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ,

Asian Longhorned Beetle,
Photo:Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ,

Insects and diseases can be in, on, or under the bark of firewood, or even deep within the wood itself.  You often cannot see if they are there.

Hauling insect-infested firewood from home dramatically speeds up the spread of invasive insects that harm our forests.  While an invasive insect population might spread a few miles on its own in a single year, moving infested wood can spread the same pest hundreds of miles in a single day. 

Help us protect Maine’s forests. Get your firewood where you intend to burn it.

To learn more visit: Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestrty