Longhorned Beetle Hunted on East Coast
Giant black traps are being hung from trees in Worcester County, Massachusetts to catch a killer. Victims of the Asian longhorned beetle are trees – and they have fallen by the tens of thousands after this invasive bug climbed the shores of the eastern seaboard not long ago.
Trees suspected of infestation have been chopped down, which amounts to 34,000 in the last seven years. The zone of infestation covers 110 square miles. Although finding stricken trees means removal, it may save much more of the forest from destruction.
The goal is to not just reduce beetle populations, but eradicate it.
This latest project is part of a long term program by federal and state officials to keep forests in this area safe. Certain pests, particularly non-native beetles, can cause devastation to forests because they are hard to spot and have no natural, native predators.
In the case of the Asian longhorned beetle, the damage to trees may not be apparent for up to two years.
In Boston, a concerted effort to wipe the beetle off the map was successful because the damage was detected early due to observant citizens.