Help fight invasive species in Southeast region with Poolside Pests program

Animals

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Now that we are into the dog days of summer, many people are spending their days on the beach or relaxing by the pool. You could also be helping save North Carolina’s trees while enjoying your pool this summer.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture, North Carolina Forest Service and NC State have collaborated to create the Poolside Pests program. Two invasive insects have wreaked havoc on trees in Virginia and South Carolina but luckily haven’t been seen in our state yet.

That’s why they need your help. The best way to stop these invasive species is by early detection, before the population has grown and before it covers more area.

The Asian Longhorned Beetle and Spotted Lanternfly cause significant damage to trees. The Asian Longhorned Beetle weakens and eventually kills hardwoods, which can be especially damaging to surrounding buildings during storms. The Lanternfly damages plants by feeding on their sap, which causes issues for numerous industries, including wineries.

It also leaves a sticky residue behind called honeydew, which leaves a moldy mess. These insects can be found anywhere, but they are attracted to fresh water, which is why many of them end up in pool filters. If you have a pool, keep your eyes out this summer.

Now that you know what they look like, make sure to keep your eyes peeled. If you find one, report your sightings by going here.

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