Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Unannounced Visitors

This morning when I went outside to water the garden, I was surprised to find 6 people in my yard from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)! Our property sits right next to city owned forest / land. I thought they were here to check on the trees that have been losing all their leaves. One of the gentleman came up to me, and introduced himself. "Sorry m'am, we didn't mean to scare you in your backyard. We're here to check on the trees for Asian Longhorned Japanese Beetles." Those infamous bugs have caused havoc throughout the city, and therefore they've been tasked to go around the boroughs and take samplings from trees to see if there are any signs of them so they can eradicate the problem. I asked him if that was the cause of the trees to drop the leaves but he said that many of the trees around the city are losing leaves because of the lack of rain. It's just been too dry he said. ((((sigh)))) Tell me about it!

Here I am behind the fence in the garden watering, and sneaking in some photos! :)

Check out the harnass he is wearing. I watched him throw up this rope to the tall branches!

Then he proceeds to scale the tree! Wow!

There he is high up in the tree taking some samples. It's amazing that the state / government is taking such a proactive approach to helping the trees. How awesome!


  1. That's fabulous that they are putting in the effort to test for beetles. We have a turf pest here called the European Chafer Beetle and it is destryong our greenspace - yet nothing is being done about it and there is no homeowner help avilable.

  2. I wonder how they plan to "eradicate" them without harming local wildlife and other insects essential to the proper functioning of the bioregion. We've had Japanese beetles here for decades. Are they new to your region of the country, then?

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  4. Hi Meredith, I'm not sure how they eradicate the Japanese Beetle. We got a notice in the mail about the Asian Longhorned beetle that has been infecting trees also. I'm not sure if that's the same thing as the Japanese beetle. In the letter it says that to eradicate the Asian Longhorned beetle, they "remove the infested trees and destroy them through chipping and burning."

  5. Glad that they are trying to take care of the problem!

  6. Always a good thing when they get involved! I've noticed here in our area. They have put these like sticky traps or something on some of the trees. I think it's the elm trees. I think they are looking for some kind of boring bug. Great Post.

  7. Wow, interesting that such a common pest is causing such attention!

  8. meems girl ! Big Brother is watching YOU ? LOL
    I think that is wonderful they are trying to get a handle on these nasty bugs .. but I would be a little perplexed at first (my hermit characteristics ?) with a stranger in my yard ? wink wink .. glad you caught some pictures for us to see ! : )

  9. Here in Michigan there is a program where they are infecting Japanese beetles with some sort of pathogen that is known only to them. The pathogen doesn't kill them, it just makes them lazy so they eat less and reproduce less.
    They are hoping that when they release the infected bugs they will infect other ones and keep the little buggers under control.
    here's more info:

  10. The concentration of pest species is concerning and an indicator of declining health of the overall eco system - balance of good and bad only occurs in a diverse and healthy eco system. Often the attempts at solving these problems by mankind only results in even worse outcomes - but you have to give them credit for being appropriately concerned. Fun to see him scale that tree so handily.

  11. That't great if destroying infected trees will get rid of them. How do they spread?

  12. That's great if destroying infected trees will get rid of them. How do they spread?


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