August is National Tree Check Month!

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DNR: Check your trees for the Asian longhorned beetle

The adult Asian longhorned beetle displays distinctive white blotches and long antennae. (Photo courtesy Michael Bohne, Bugwood.org).


Round exit holes in trees indicate Asian longhorned beetle activity. (Photo courtesy Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program.)


They haven’t been found here yet, but the Department of Natural Resources is asking you to take a quick look around your trees for the Asian longhorned beetle.

August has been declared national Tree Check Month, time to be on the lookout for invasive, destructive pests.

This month you’re being asked to take 10 minutes to check trees around your home for the beetle, and any sign of the damage it causes.

Adult Asian longhorned beetles range from three-quarters of an inch to 1/ 1/2 inches in length, not including the long antennae.

They are shiny black with random white blotches or spots, and their antennae have alternating black and white segments.

They have six legs that can be black or partly blue with blue coloration sometimes extending to their feet.

The beetle was first identified in the U.S. in 1996, and while it is not believed to have made its way to Michigan, it has been found in Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Toronto.

“Though the beetle does not move long distances on its own, it can be transported in firewood,” said John Bedford, Pest Response Program specialist at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “When traveling, leave your firewood at home. Buy it at your destination point and burn it there.”

Adult beetles are active in late summer to early fall. Female beetles chew depressions in tree trunks and branches to lay eggs. When larvae hatch, they burrow deep into the heartwood of the tree, creating large chambers in the wood. The next summer, fully formed adult beetles emerge from trees by boring perfectly round, three-eighths-inch-diameter exit holes. Sometimes a material resembling wood shavings can be seen at or below these holes or coming from cracks in an infested tree’s bark.

They infest several different types of trees, including maple, birch, elm, willow, buckeye, horse chestnut and other hardwoods.

If you see one, or a tree that appears to have damage from one, call MDARD at 800-292-3939.

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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