Invasive Species

Reporting Invasive Species 

Visit to report invasive species sightings to the statewide database.

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive beetle that attacks all species of ash tree, eventually killing it. Since there are no native predators for EAB in North America, the beetle is able to continue spreading relatively unhindered. By itself, EAB can move up to a mile each year: however, the most common way it spreads over long distances is by transporting infested firewood.

The Town of Malta has recently discovered widespread EAB within the Town boarders. The Town would like to protect any remaining healthy ash trees, and has created a web survey for residents to fill out when they discover a healthy stand of ash. Identifying the locations of these healthy trees is crucial for coordinating an appropriate protection response.   

Volunteer Ash Tree Monitoring Survey-Help Us Locate Healthy Ash Trees (leaves Town of Malta website)


Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Hemlock woolly adelgid is a tiny invasive insect, similar to aphids, that feeds on all species of hemlock. These little bugs are most easily identifiable by their appearance, which is that of a white woolly mass, on the underside of hemlock branches. Once fixed, HWA will stay in one place on the same hemlock for its whole life, sucking nutrients from the tree and eventually killing it within 4 to 10 years.


Oak Wilt 

Oak wilt is a fungal disease that infects all oak trees, though red oak is most susceptible. Infected red oak trees can die 6 months after infection, while other oak species may take up to a few years. This fungus has not been confirmed in Malta, though it has been confirmed in nearby Glenville, NY. NYSDEC is monitoring the spread of this fungus in New York. If you find a tree infected by oak wilt, inform NYSDEC directly. 


Spongy Moth

Spongy moth was originally brought to the United States in an attempt to breed them with silkworms and create a tougher silkworm. These invasive moths have become naturalized in New York, though cyclical outbreaks of these insects can damage a variety of trees as they enjoy eating leaves in their caterpillar stage. Though oak trees are their preferred food source, if oak is scarce the spongy moth caterpillars will feast on evergreen trees, which are much less resistant to losing their leaves than their deciduous counterparts. This can result in tree death.