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The Boston Globe

Maine

Maine wary of budworm outbreak

AUGUSTA, Maine — Three decades ago, an insidious pest called the spruce budworm wreaked devastation on Maine’s forests, defoliating millions of acres of the state’s abundant fir and spruce trees until they were dry sticks.

The infestation, which began reaching its worst stages in the late 1970s, prompted a small-scale air war, first with chemicals sprayed from aircraft and later with biological insecticides. At last, by the later 1980s, the budworms went away.

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