State forestry officials say that for the first time, the destructive emerald ash borer has been found in trees in York County.
Live larvae were found in Acton and Berwick. Adult insects previously found in the area had flown into traps. These latest finds came after ash tree branches along roadsides in Acton, Lebanon and Berwick were collected and peeled.
Officials say this indicates that the invasive pest is established, at least sporadically, near where the insect was found, but that it's almost certain it's spread farther.
The Maine Forest Service plans to use ash trees with a strip of bark removed as traps this spring near the New Hampshire border to look for signs of the insect, as it moves forward with management efforts.
The emerald ash borer has also been found in far northern Maine, near the Canadian border.