Updated: Thursday, 09 Aug 2012, 1:08 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 09 Aug 2012, 8:04 AM EDT
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Capable of wiping out entire neighborhoods of every single ash tree, the emerald ash borer has turned up in New Haven County. To battle the beetle and stop its spread the state has put a quarantine in place.
William Salg of Northford has piles of firewood ready to sell, but it's all under quarantine. "Financially, I'm whacked," said the owner of Salg Wood & Lumber. "I've lost half my firewood customers, which is half my income."
That's because mixed in the piles is ash wood, and starting today he can only sell ash wood within New Haven County.
"I cannot deliver wood up the road seven miles to Durham, because that's Middlesex County," he said.
"Regulated articles such as ash logs, chips or even live beetles themselves cannot leave New Haven County without a permit," said Dr. Louis Magnarelli, director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.
The Agricultural Experiment Station put the county under quarantine because of the Emerald Ash Borer. This beetle kills ash trees and it's making its way across the country in people's firewood.
"A campsite or a homeowner's property -- that could, if it's infested, start up another infestation wherever the destination is," Dr. Magnarelli said.
Here's another scary factoid about ash trees. There are a lot of them in urban areas; next to streets and next to houses, and therefore next to power lines.
Losing the state's ash trees would be very costly, and Salg knows it.
"I don't want this bug spreading," Salg said. "I'm in hopes they kill the sucker."
In the meantime, state troopers will be looking for trucks hauling wood and anyone found moving ash out of New Haven county could face a $100 fine.
The bugs have already turned up in Prospect, Naugatuck, Beacon Falls and Bethany.