Firewood quarantine aims to stamp out damaging pests

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Jun 9, 2013 9:16 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- Environmental regulators are reminding people to follow quarantine orders when it comes to firewood over concerns about invasive species of insects.

A federal quarantine prohibits firewood from the commonwealth from entering some other states because of the Emerald Ash Borer, which is destructive to ash trees.

Another pest, the Walnut Twig Beetle, is also a concern because it causes a disease in walnut trees.

Dana Rhodes of the state Department of Agriculture says both bugs can hitch a ride on firewood.

"Actually, when we're thinking about firewood, we might use it to weigh down a tarp or to brace something on a tractor, they're great for tire blocks," Rhodes says. "Firewood has pests, and that's another way that we might unknowingly be moving insects around."

Rhodes says the majority of Emerald Ash Borer infestations are usually found along highways.

She says while that pest has spread across the state, the Walnut Twig Beetle is so far confined to Bucks County.

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