Trees in Indiana are currently at risk of being completely destroyed by an invasive species: the wood-bearing Asian longhorned beetle.
This is according to Purdue University researchers, who urged Indiana residents to check the trees in their area for signs of the destructive beetle species.
Asian Longhorned Beetle
The Asian longhorned beetle first appeared in the United States in the 1990s. Originating from China, it can kill 13 different kinds of hardwood trees—including birch, maple, elm, willow, poplar, and ash. It destroys trees from the inside out, with the larvae known to hollow out the inside of the trees. The beetles, on the other hand, eat leaves and bark.
The beetle is distinctive with a black, shiny, thumb-sized body with white spots and long antennas with black and white bands. Other noticeable features are six legs with bluish feet.
This insect has been found in Ohio, Chicago, and Long Island. Recently, there have also been sightings in Indiana.
The Impact of the Beetle Infestation on Trees, Humans
According to the USDA Forest Service, if the beetle establishes itself in the country, it would likely kill 30% of all urban trees. This amounts to nearly $700 billion in compensatory value.
And not only do the beetle harm trees, but could also harm humans. The trees could uproot without warning, and could destroy entire forests and even kill those nearby.
Signs of an Infestation
You may not always see the insect, but you can observe the signs of an infestation. These include round, holes the size of a dime (this is where the beetles crawl out of the wood).
Infested trees also have round pits in the bark that ooze sap, sawdust-like material on the foot of the trees, and dead branches or limbs falling from a health-looking tree. Unseasonable yellowing of leaves is also a red flag.
Beetle infestation generally spreads slowly on its own, so early detection is very important to contain it. If you see an Asian longhorned beetle-infested tree, call Yes Pest Pros, Inc. for pest control service. We also exterminate bed bugs, carpenter ants, fleas, and more.