An invasive tree-killing pest is now occupying much more of Connecticut than it did last year.
Since the emerald ash borer’s discovery two years ago the number of infested cities and towns jumped from five in 2012, to 15 in 2013, and now to 40 this year.
Berlin, Fox CT has learned, is the latest victim.
The beetle and its destructive larvae are now killing ash trees in five counties.
State entomologists said it’s a matter of years, not decades, until the emerald ash borer will plague all of Connecticut.
“We’re starting to see the exponential part of the curve where we’re seeing a lot more beetle activity and we’re seeing a lot more dying ash,” Dr. Kirby Stafford, chief scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, said.
Healthy ash trees can be protected from the beetle using pesticides injected into the trees’ roots annually.
State experts predict the only ash trees which will be left in Connecticut are treated ones on private property or trees protected by municipalities.