This week's edition of real-life nightmare fuel goes to the emerald ash borer. This little beetle somehow ended up in Portland and is apparently a pretty big threat to our trees. So much so, a quarantine has been issued.

The beetle originates from Asia and was first spotted in the states in Detroit, Michigan in 2002 according to EmeraldAshBorer.info. The full-grown beetle isn't the one to be feared, however. It's when they're larvae that they consume the inner bark of ash trees which has lead to hundreds of millions of ash trees being destroyed in North America alone.

David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org via USDA.gov

According to WMTW, the beetle was caught in a trap in Portland and in an effort to keeping the species contained the State of Maine issued a quarantine for Portland and towns within a 10-mile radius. The quarantine applies to the sale and transfer of ash wood and firewood. Portland is home to 600 ash trees.

Portland isn't the only Maine area with a quarantine in place. There is also a quarantine area in the northeastern corner of Aroostook County dating back to May of 2018 and a quarantine was implemented in western York County in September of the same year.

The United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service reports that the beetle has been found in over 30 states including New Hampshire and Massachusettes.

Credit: Marianne Prue, Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Division of Forestry, Bugwood.org via USDA.gov

To minimize the threat the USDA advises those who burn firewood to buy local and burn local. Be mindful of signs and symptoms such as yellow wilted foliage and D-shaped beetle exit holes. The beetle larvae are so destructive that they're noted as the primary cause of the decline of ash trees in the United States.