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Sunday, May 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Be aware, trees can house invasive insects

Red, dead, trees that dot the hillsides in the Panhandle National Forest are evidence of the devastation of the Douglas fir bark beetle infestation. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Red, dead, trees that dot the hillsides in the Panhandle National Forest are evidence of the devastation of the Douglas fir bark beetle infestation. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
From staff reports

The Washington Invasive Species Council is asking residents to check trees and swimming pools in their yards for harmful bugs as part of the national Tree Check Month in August.

August is the peak time of year to look for invasive bugs and report any species that seem out of place. Trees near homes and in neighborhoods are as just as susceptible as trees in rural and wild forests, according to a news release from the council.

Since 1990, at least 70 new insect species have been detected in Washington, according to a 2016 state study.

The public found 36 percent of the new insects first, more than formal surveys or regulatory agencies detected.

Residents who see invasive insects, or signs of them, should take photographs and report the find immediately online at invasivespecies.wa.gov/report.shtml, where they can access the reporting form or download the free WA Invasives mobile app. If the insect can be captured or collected, each county has a Washington State University Extension Office and Master Gardener Program that can help identify suspect insects.

First indications of invasive insect damage to trees include sudden dieback or death among trees that are otherwise vigorous and healthy. If residents see this, they should investigate further and look for sawdust, exit holes or actual beetles. For more information, visit invasivespecies.wa.gov.

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