Exotic Beetles Threaten Local Trees

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The discovery of a three Asian longhorned beetles last month in North Highlands has prompted the state Department of Food and Agriculture to bring in smokejumpers to help look for the pest.

Department spokesman Steve Lyle says a team of four smokejumpers from the US Forest Service have lent their tree-climbing skills to search for the pest. "They climbed 100 trees this week around the area where the initial detections occurred. They got into places in trees that people don’t ordinarily get to. They have tremendous tree climbing experience and so far fortunately we have found no additional beetles."

Fruit trees and trees common in parks and forests are all at risk of infestation by the pest. State agriculture inspectors put up nearly 200 inspect traps around the McClellan Air Force Base since last month’s discovery of three beetles in a nearby warehouse.