An invasive tree parasite has been found in additional places in western Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says this week the hemlock woolly adelgid was discovered in Muskegon County. That comes after the tree-killing pest was found in June in Ottawa County.
The insect uses long, siphoning mouth parts to suck sap from hemlock trees. It's native to Asia but since the early 1950s has decimated hemlock stands across the eastern U.S.
Michigan has more than 100 million hemlocks, which provide valuable habitat for birds, deer and other wildlife.
The state has been working to monitor and control the insect since 2001 and until this year Michigan infestations were restricted to nurseries and hemlock landscaping. The ones in Ottawa and Muskegon counties are in native trees.
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