WASHINGTON — The spread of a common British bug has spread to other parts of the country.
Bryan Smith, an expert on invasive species, said a local farmer found the bug while harvesting corn on a farm about a mile from the Canadian border.
He said he found a large, brown, winged insect on a corn crop.
The insect has been spreading in some areas of the Midwest, Smith said.
“I think there’s been a lot of panic,” he said.
Smith said the bug is not known to have harmed humans.
It may be able to survive outside a lab, he said, but it is a dangerous pest that needs to be contained.
Smith said some experts have said the spread could have been much worse if the insect had been introduced from the U.K. An investigation is underway to determine the source of the bug, which was found on a farmer’s farm about two weeks ago, Smith and others said.
He said it is not clear if the bug was brought in from the United Kingdom or from Canada.
Smith noted that a farmer on a dairy farm found the same bug on his crops and called authorities.
A spokeswoman for the Agriculture Department said it does not comment on specific cases.
Experts say the spread of the bugs has not affected crops in other parts.
Several states have banned the importation of the pests and some other states have passed laws to restrict their use.
Officials from some U.S. states have been briefed on the bugs spread, and the Environmental Protection Agency is investigating, according to the U-S.
Department of Agriculture.
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