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Have you seen these beetles?

Asian longhorned beetle

Officials want you to help them look for a tree killer.

It’s called the Asian longhorned beetle. It has a shiny black body with white spots, really long antennae, and sometimes, blue feet.

It’s not in Michigan yet, as far as anyone knows. But there are infestations in Ohio.

Rhonda Santos is with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. She says the beetle can attack and kill 12 different kinds of trees. But maples are its favorite.

“One of the signs that a tree is infested is circular holes. They’re about 3/8 of an inch in diameter, a little bit smaller than a dime,” she says.

Credit USDA
Round exit holes are a sign of the beetle.

She says this time of the year is the best time to keep an eye out for the beetles, though you could see those little holes year round.

Other signs of damage include:

  • Shallow oval or round scars in the bark, where the adult beetle has chewed an egg site.
  • Sawdust-like material, called frass, on the ground around the tree or in the branches.
  • Dead branches or limbs falling from an otherwise healthy-looking tree.

Santos says if you see one, you can capture it by placing it inside a jar and then freezing it.
If you catch a beetle, or think you see signs of it, call the USDA at 866-702-9938 or report it online.

Rebecca Williams is senior editor in the newsroom, where she edits stories and helps guide news coverage.
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