An invasive beetle that kills ash trees has been found in Burlington County, authorities said today.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture said the emerald ash borer was found in a Westampton trap set as part of the department's annual survey to detect the pest.

It's not the first time the beetle has been found in New Jersey this year.

In May, a citizen discovered the beetle in Bridgewater, and the pest was also found in Bernards Township, the department said.

The department said it would now survey trees in the area of Burlington County where the emerald ash borer was found to determine the severity of the infestation.

The metallic green insect, which measures about a half-inch long and an eighth-inch wide, has been blamed for the destruction of tens of millions of trees since it was first seen in the United States in 2002, in Michigan.

Female beetles lay eggs on the bark of ash trees. The eggs hatch, and as the larvae develop, they cut off the flow of the tree's nutrients in the vessels under the bark, eventually killing the tree.

Signs of the beetle in New Jersey should be reported to the state agriculture department by calling 609-406-6939.

Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.
Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or Follow @phillynews on Twitter.