Beetle is bad news for Ohio - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Beetle is bad news for Ohio

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

A little black bug with white spots packs a powerful punch, enough to take out an entire tree.

"It's a creature that could devastate our Hardwood Forest. What happens is their larvae, which is the big grub about the size of my pinky, gets into the wood," says Wendy Weirich.

The Asian Longhorned Beetle made its way from Asia to the United States in the mid 90's.

The one inch bug has already killed trees in Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Clermont, Ohio near Cincinnati.

"It's a voracious eater out of hardwoods. It loves Maple trees. It loves Willow trees," added Wendy. 

Wendy Weirich is the Director of Outdoor Education with Cleveland Metroparks. She says even though the pesky critter hasn't made it's way to Cleveland just yet, it can get here and possibly do some serious damage.

She says there are signs to look for.

"Do you see holes about the size of a pencil diameter in your trees. Those are the exit holes of the larvae," says Weirich.

Experts say there are things you do to keep the beetle from getting in your backyard.

Starting with where you get your firewood.

"We want to use firewood in our own space. we want to get it from home and keep it at home and if you go camping then buy it on site,' says Weirich.

Experts say it takes about 2 years for the beetle to kill a tree. Crews are working to get rid of the bug in Southeast Ohio by treating and removing infested trees. They also hope the public keeps a close eye out.

Copyright 2013 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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