The trees invite the threat of the Asian Longhorned Beetles, a destructive wood-feeding bug that bores its way into trunks and branches and creating harmful punctures in the trees.
According to Bobby Miller, a representative from the Department of Agriculture, Asian Longhorned Beetles pose deadly threats to hardwood trees, and if spread nationwide, it could cause more harm than the Dutch Elm Disease, Chestnut Blight, and Gypsy Moth threats combined.
It was reported they arrived in untreated wooden pallets used to ship goods from China, and have no known natural predators in the United States.
At the same time, it is very easy for these insects to spread and multiply if correct preventions are not taken in a timely manner. It only takes around 10 to 15 days for eggs to hatch, and their lifespan is up to an entire year.
Miller said that the Department of Agriculture would send special inspectors to the neighborhood to inspect trees and eliminate all Asian Longhorned Beetles in sight.
“We will have inspectors in Forest Hills in the near future and will probably be in Forest Hills for six weeks,” said Miller.
He mentioned that some of the inspectors would actually climb the threatened trees for a more thorough inspection, looking for larvae that are yet to hatch.
“Our inspectors will be checking tress with their binoculars,” Miller said. “We also have tree climbers, who will climb trees with ropes. We want people to know that the people who will be climbing on the trees are federal inspectors, not burglars.”
Aside from feasting off of live trees, these destructive insects also live in firewood, and can travel from one place to another if they are not eliminated correctly.
The best way to eradicate the insects is through chopping down the tree to prevent infestation.