Fairfax officials: Be on lookout for destructive beetle

If a resident sees an Asian longhorned beetle, they should try to capture it in a jar or a plastic bag and store it in the freezer. (Courtesy Fairfax County government)

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It has not yet been detected in Fairfax County, but the county government is asking local residents to be on the lookout for the Asian longhorned beetle, which has been found in other areas of the country and is very destructive to hardwood trees.

This beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) has blue feet, a black body and white spots on its back. It is seen as a major problem as it has no natural predators in the U.S.

“We are very aware of this potential threat to the urban forest in Fairfax County and we are alerting the public to keep their eyes peeled for this beetle,” said Joan Allen, chief of the Forest Pest Branch, Urban Forest Management Division, of the county government.

“Thus far, the beetle has been found in the New York City metro area, Chicago, New Jersey, Toronto, Worcester, Mass., and most recently in Hollywood, S.C.,” Allen said.

When checking trees, residents should look for oozing sap, an accumulation of coarse sawdust around the base of trees, and uniformly round holes that are about 3/8th of an inch in diameter on the trunk or branches.

If a resident sees an Asian longhorned beetle, they should try to capture it in a jar or a plastic bag and store it in the freezer and contact Fairfax County Urban Forest Management Division at 703-324-1770, TTY 711 or email pestmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

 

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