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Sucking the Life from Hardwood Forests - Asian Longhorned Beetles

Asian Longhorned Beetles - A Menace to Maple Forests

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Sucking the Life from Hardwood Forests - Asian Longhorned Beetles

A worker applies pesticides in Central Park, New York City

Chris Hondros, Getty Images News, Courtesy of Getty Images
Hitchhiking to North America in the mid 1990s aboard shipping crates bound from China, Asian Longhorned Beetles are devastating deciduous hardwood forests not only in the U.S. and Canada but in Europe and the United Kingdom as well.

Pupa emerge to bore and tunnel into the heartwood of the host tree, literally sucking away its life and eventually killing it.

As the beetles can adapt to environmental conditions wherever maples, willows and poplar trees grow, USDA officials predict that unless the beetle's infestations are halted, domestic losses in the U.S. may top $650 Billion, forever effecting not only the rich palettes of fall's foliage but irreparably damaging the maple syrup industry as well. So, how do you know if your own trees or those in your town square are infested with this most barbaric of beetles?

Symptoms

1) Perfectly round, dime-sized exit holes.

2) Oozing, white, foamy sap that has attracted bees, wasps and hornets.

3) Frass, a combination of sawdust, shavings and bug waste, is present on the outer tree bark.

4) Dead or dying limbs or branches, especially in the spring or summer when drought has not occurred and other trees are lush with growth.

Control

Infested trees must be cut down, chipped and burned while deciduous hardwood trees within a 1/2 mile radius must be monitored for pests.

Prevention

Target hardwoods may be "vaccinated" or chemically treated by soil or trunk injections.

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