An invasive insect that feeds on hemlock trees has been discovered in the city of Schenectady.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed today that on Aug. 20, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid was located at a private city home. It is the first discovery of the insect in Schenectady County.
The tiny insect, which is from East Asia, attacks forest and ornamental hemlock trees. Damage from the pest leads to widespread hemlock decline, high levels of hemlock mortality in forests and considerable ecological damage.
Infestations can be detected by small, white, woolly masses attached to the underside of a hemlock’s twigs, near the base of the needles.
The insect was first discovered in New York in 1985. It was detected in Albany County several years ago and in Schoharie County in 2011.
More information about the insect can be found at http://www.nyis.info.
For questions or to report possible infestations visit DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/82617.html or call DEC’s toll-free Forest Pest Hotline at 1-866-640-0652.