Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Firewood Kills Trees

I was reading a cool article on some new Cornell-bred potato varieties that Marcie sent me when I noticed a stark black and white ad in the margin (that had mug shots of insects):

Be a Beetlebuster. Don't Move Firewood.

The link takes you to a site featuring a big flash-animated Asian longhorn beetle, a devastating invasive pest that's marching its way through the Northeast. These beetles lay their eggs on trees, where they eventually develop into big grubs that feed on the tree's tissues and exit through perfectly round holes as adults - killing native trees in the process. Federal and local governments are doing everything they can to keep this critter from getting established in the States.

The site asks citizens to report sightings of this beetle (or signs, such as the holes it bores in tree trunks. Take a minute to flip through their pictures so you'll know it when you see it - or at least check out the animated beetle!

Not moving firewood is one of the key ways of slowing down treekillers like the ALB because you never know if there are some baby bugs hiding out inside it. The USDA parking lot near my work is full of pickup trucks and station wagons plastered with red "Don't Move Firewood. It BUGS Me!" bumper stickers. I couldn't find a picture, but I think the bumper sticker came from the campaign against the emerald ash borer (another invasive that's decimating ash trees out from the Midwest, which a bunch of the local scientists work on).

1 comment:

  1. We had a long horn beetle scare in our county - I was called out to verify the suspect tree. Long story short, it was a carpenter moth larvae...but this threat is serious. This beetle is bad news!

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