SALT LAKE CITY — For people jumping on-board the ‘live tree’ bandwagon, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is giving notice. Check any Christmas tree you intend to bring home for signs of insects.
Utah State entomologist, Kris Watson, says it isn’t just Christmas trees. Any piece of wood used for furniture or decoration can harbor insects which are invasive to the Beehive state. Between 2006 and 2014, Utah county officials had their hands full trying to eradicate the Japanese beetle from trees. And it cost taxpayers over a million dollars.
Most of the trees selling in Utah for the holidays come from out of state. The Pacific Northwest, Minnesota and North Carolina provide large amounts of our yule-tide trees. And they are known to harbor gypsy moths and pine shoot beetles.
Officials are asking everyone to thoroughly inspect all trees even after you get it home. If you see anything crawling out, other than a cat, it should be collected. Then contact the Department of Agriculture to give a description of the insect.
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