I'm originally from Vermont and outside of Ben and Jerry's ice cream (fave flavor is still Phish Food), maple syrup (on the decline) and skiing Mad River Glen (best community-owned ski mountain in the east) there are few things I feel make up the heart and soul of this fabulous little republic just south of Montreal. And pine trees are part of this lifeblood that make up a winter in Vermont.
Enter the Sirex Wood Wasp. Hitching a ride on boats from Africa and Europe this little bugger bores holes in two and three-needle pine trees and then lays it's larvae in the tree. This of course does damage to the trees tissue eventually causing it, with enough bored holes and injected larvae, to die a slow death. For the first time every, the Sirex Wood Wasp has been found in Vermont pine forests. While having been found in pine forests throughout New York State, Pennsylvania and Michigan it had not yet been tracked into the Green Mountain State.
Forestry officials will be keeping an eye out for more signs of the wasp in the coming months. It has been controlled, with minimal damage, using biological agents. Hmm...sounds harmless?