AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Three decades ago, an insidious pest called the spruce budworm wreaked devastation on Maine's forests, defoliating the state's abundant fir and spruce trees until they were dry sticks.
The infestation prompted an air war, first with chemicals and later with biological insecticides, and at last the budworms disappeared.
But experts say the bugs may soon descend upon Maine again.
State entomologist Dave Struble says there's a budworm outbreak in parts of Canada's New Brunswick and Quebec provinces, and there have been some signs of budworms in Maine. But officials don't know whether to expect a sizeable outbreak in the state.
For now, they're keeping landowners informed in case another suppression effort should be considered.
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