We had the Beach Boys in town last year. Now let’s prep just in case the Beetles invade.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources is encouraging residents and business owners to examine trees at home and work for signs of damage caused by the dreaded Asian Longhorned Beetle, and is planning to visit agricultural groups in Wellesley and other communities to educate them about how to identify infestation signs. The invasive insects, ALBs to we in the know, did major damage last year in the Worcester area and resulted in about 19,000 trees being removed. Town officials haven’t received reports of the beetles in Wellesley, but signs of their damage have been seen outside the Worcester area. The adults aren’t expected to emerge until summer, but damage signs can be spotted during the spring.
One scary thing about these bugs is that they aren’t too picky about which trees they munch on: a variety of hardwood trees, including maples, elm, ash and birch. State officials next month will train master gardeners at Mass Hort’s facilities how to recognize ALB damage and teach others to do so. The state offers this description of ALB damage signs:
Signs of an infestation include smooth, round, dime-sized holes left by adult beetles exiting a tree, sawdust-like material on the ground around the trunk or on tree limbs, and oozing sap. If an exit hole can be easily reached, try fitting the eraser end of a pencil into the hole. If it does not go in straight at least one inch deep, it is not the beetle. The beetles leave exit holes spread out across a tree. A series of holes together in a line is often caused by woodpeckers or sapsuckers.