BOONE, N.C. — The hemlock woolly adelgid, a sap-sucking insect, is attacking more trees in western North Carolina.
But now county officials are getting new tools to fight the pest through a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation.
The adelgid began threatening trees in North Carolina's northwestern mountains a couple of years ago. Watauga County agricultural extension agents say that now six out of 10 hemlocks there are infested.
A grant from Golden LEAF bought equipment for extension service offices in Raleigh and about 20 counties. Watauga County's office got high-powered microscopes to help them identify pests more quickly.
They can also study the insect's life cycle and the effects of pesticide treatment.