Local News

August prime time to spot invasive insects in trees

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington Invasive Species Council are asking residents to check trees and swimming pools in their yards for harmful bugs. 

August is Tree Check Month, because it is the peak time of year to find invasive bugs. Trees near your home are just as susceptible as trees in rural and wild forests.

“Invasive insects can destroy Washington’s forests and have a large economic impact,” said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council. “A few minutes of your time could save the state millions of dollars and protect more than 22 million acres of forests that are at risk from invasive insects and diseases.”

Residents who see signs of invasive insects are asked to take photographs and report them online at www.invasivespecies.wa.gov/report.shtml.

If trees are dying quickly that should be otherwise vigorous and healthy, they are most likely infected by invasive insects.

The most common invasive insects you might see would be the following:
-The citrus longhorned beetle is a large shiny black beetle with white spots. At this time of year, adult beetles emerge from trees, leaving large, circular exit holes about 5/8 inch in diameter. The beetle can feed on and kill a variety of hardwood trees including apple, maples, oaks, willows and poplars.

-The emerald ash borer is a shiny, half-inch long, metallic green beetle. Adults begin flying in June and will continue through August as they emerge from ash trees, their primary host. The exit holes in the tree’s trunk are about a quarter-inch wide and have a distinctive D-shape. This species has been moving westward as campers move firewood far from where they bought it and recently was discovered in Boulder, Colorado.