Beetle wants to hitch a ride this holiday weekend

As the camping season arrives, federal authorities are worried a pesky beetle spread by hitching a ride on a woodpile.

The Emerald Ash Borer Beetle (EAB) often lives in firewood and was detected in Bucks County as recently as March 14th. Sharon Lucik of the United States Department of Agriculture says taking firewood from home to your campsite or bringing wood from camp to home could give the beetle a free ride with disastrous consequences.

“Once you have firewood at your campground, burn it all, don’t leave it destroy it, burn it and go home knowing full well you aren’t transporting the pest to and from the campsite or vice versa,” said Lucik.

Lucik says the beetle is not easily detectable but there are a few signs, such as bare branches and woodpecker activity.

“The woodpeckers feed on the larvae that is underneath the bark, that is also what is creating the damage of the tree, the larvae essentially disrupts the circulatory system of the tree and that’s why it dies,” she said.

The beetle is estimated to have killed 50 million trees since it’s original detection in Michigan back in 2002. The pest has shown up in 15 states.

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