May 24, 2024 - News

🌳 Invasive beetle spreading in North Texas

A photo of an emerald ash borer

The invasive beetle eats through the tree, cutting off the tissue that absorbs water. Photo: Terry Harris/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The invasive emerald ash borer has been found in five new Texas counties and additional parts of Dallas.

Why it matters: The discovery of the invasive species in nonadjacent counties shows that humans are spreading the problem.

  • The beetle has decimated ash trees throughout the country since the northeast Asian species was discovered in the U.S. in Michigan in 2002.

The latest: The Texas A&M Forest Service confirmed this week that the beetle has been found in Grayson, Hill, Hood, McLennan and Palo Pinto counties.

  • Dallas, Denton, Parker and Tarrant counties remain in quarantine, meaning moving ash wood and hardwood firewood to other counties is prohibited.

Zoom in: The metallic-colored beetle has been found in four new areas of Dallas this month: near Texas Loop 12 and Interstate 30, by Interstate 635, around Northwest Highway, and in the Great Trinity Forest.

Flashback: Emerald ash borers were first found in Texas in 2016 and in North Texas in 2018.

  • The borers were found in Dallas County traps in 2022.
  • Now more than a dozen Texas counties are quarantined.

How to help: Identify what type of trees you have in your yard. If you have any ash trees, monitor them for signs of distress, such as dead branches toward the top.

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