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Invasive Beetle Found in Somerset County; Officials Outline Preventative Treatment Options

The Alternative Press Staff

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 • 4:26pm

SUMMIT, NJ - The City of Summit is alerting residents of a recent New Jersey Department of Agriculture announcement confirming that the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive beetle from Asia that has attacked and killed tens of millions of Ash trees, has been found in Somerset County. 

A landscaper investigating unhealthy trees in a retail area in Bridgewater last month alerted the Department.  After receiving the tip, inspectors took samples and insect larvae were sent to the U. S. Department of Agriculture Systematic Entomology Laboratory where the specimens were confirmed. 

City of Summit homeowners can take steps to protect their trees and control the spread of the beetle.  Treatment products are available at local retail establishments and state-certified pesticide applicators can treat for EAB.  Signs of EAB include: canopy dieback beginning at the top of the tree and progressing through the year until the tree is bare; sprouts growing from the roots and trunk; split bark with an S-shape gallery; D-shaped exit holes; and more woodpecker activity, creating large holes as they extract the larvae. 

Officials identified firewood as a vehicle for movement of tree-killing forest pests including EAB and the Asian long-horned beetle.  As a way to help control the spread of the beetle, the NJ Department of Agriculture recommends using locally-sourced firewood when burning it at home and when traveling.  Also, make sure to burn all wood purchased.

Residents are encouraged to report signs of the beetle to the Department of Agriculture at 609 / 406-6939.

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