Tests confirm emerald ash borer has arrived in Philadelphia

Emerald ash borer (bearsky23 / BigStock)

Emerald ash borer (bearsky23 / BigStock)

The emerald ash borer has officially arrived in Philadelphia.

The half-inch-long, jewel-green insect has destroyed more than 100 million ash trees in North America since first appearing in 2002 in Detroit.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Parks and Recreation officials in May set out traps in West Philadelphia and in the Northeast. In mid-June two traps caught several insects which were sent off for testing.

Tests confirmed the insects were ash borers.

Parks and Recreation project manager Curtis Helm says officials suspected ash borers have been in the city, but this is the first physical proof.

He says unless steps are taken, the city will lose a majority of its ash trees in the next five to 10 years.

More than 200,000 of Philadelphia’s 3.1 million trees are ashes.

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