In the mid-1990s, Asian Longhorned Beetles were detected in Chicago and New York. What seemed like a common pest at the time has turned into much worse, and now, they are making their way to the forests of Charleston County. Asian Longhorned Beetles are destructive beetles that attack a variety of hardwood trees. Unfortunately, when an infestation is found of the beetle, nothing can be done except destroying the infested trees. If you believe you need tree removal in North Charleston, SC, Connors Tree Service has you covered. We can provide all the services you need to help combat the spread of the Asian Longhorned Beetle.
What is the Asian Longhorned Beetle?
An adult Asian Longhorned Beetle is roughly an inch to an inch and a half long, black with white spots on its back. They have extremely long antennas that can be double the size of their body. The antennas are also striped with white and black. These beetles feed on willows, maples, elm, birch, sycamore, horse chestnut, poplar, ash, and other hardwood trees. They bore through the inside of the trees, eating the tissue that is responsible for nutrient and water transport in the trees.
Historically, Asian Longhorned Beetles only lived in Asia, but they arrived in the US through wood shipments. They started in New York, Ohio, and Massachusetts, but in 2020, they have been found in South Carolina. The fear is that they will continue to spread throughout the states and beyond as they eat their way through targeted trees.
Asian Longhorned Beetles cause wreckage as they flourish. Once a tree is infected, it’s seemingly impossible to save it without burning it. As these beetles eat through and lay larva in hardwood trees, America’s forests are in danger. The USDA suggests that these beetles threaten resources and recreation areas that are worth billions of dollars.
What’s more, adult beetles can fly. That means that once they’ve finished with one tree, they may fly until they find another adequate tree. While the extent of this travel is unknown, they do have the capacity to do so.
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Signs of Infestation
Luckily, signs of infestation are clear to viewers. As Asian Longhorned Beetles eat their way through hardwood trees, they leave behind many indicators of their infestation. A tree that has had the larva will show round depressions in the bark, a perfect circle exit hole, and sawdust around the base of the tree. Furthermore, as the beetles eat important tree tissue, the leaves of the trees may turn yellow, droop, or fall off in seasons where they should not.
If you have seen any of these signs, speak to a company specializing in tree removal in North Charleston, SC.
How They Spread
Asian Longhorned Beetles can spread through a variety of wood sources. The difficult part is that the larva are laid deep within trees, so they may be difficult to notice unless the warning signs are seen. The beetles can be spread through firewood, logs, branches, wood packing materials, wood trimmings, lumber, and other similar materials. Even if no beetles are seen, the larva may still be present.
In states like New York, Ohio, and Massachusetts, the USDA has implemented quarantine zones for wood. That means nobody can move wood out of the areas where quarantine has been placed. This is to stop any potential spread of the beetles. Since South Carolina was recently found to have the Asian Longhorned Beetle, there will likely be places in Charleston County where quarantine will occur. Any tree service in North Charleston, SC will know about the quarantine when it becomes available. Until then, residents should be careful to notice the warning signs.
What to Do to Help
If you live in one of the areas where these beetles have been found, you must be extremely careful about moving wood. It’s best not to move firewood. Furthermore, if you see any signs of these beetles, call a local company specializing in tree removal in North Charleston, SC. Alternatively, you can contact the USDA with any information.
If you would like to speak to a tree expert and inquire about any services, Connor’s Tree Service is a licensed and insured Arborist here to help.