Be on the lookout for beetles

The Washington State Department of Agriculture discovered the relative of the Asian longhorned beetle after being informed by a nursery owner in Tukwila, who found the beetle on a quarantined shipment of maples. The insects found in Tukwila were sent to the Smithsonian Institute for positive identification since many beetles resemble the dangerous Asian longhorned beetle.

On August 10, 2001, the new pest was identified as citrus longhorned beetle. The beetles found on the trees have all been destroyed, but inspectors still check the neighborhood for adults and eggs of the pest. The citrus longhorned beetle closely resembles the Asian longhorned beetle, which devastated mature trees in several Eastern US cities in 1999 and 2000. Just as destructive, the citrus longhorned beetle has the potential to attack forest trees including alder, maple and poplar. They kill trees by boring large holes through the heartwood of the tree during the larval stage.

The beetle is crisply black and white, large 1 to 1.5 inches long with distinctive long curved antennae stretching from the head and extending wider than the body. Photos are available on the Internet on the Washington State University website. If you see one of these beetles, scoop it up into a container and then call (800) 443-6684 to contact the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

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