Invasive Evergreen Tree-Eating Insect Found on Holiday Decorations Sold at Menards, Home Depot
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota and Wisconsin agriculture officials are trying to block the spread of an invasive evergreen tree-eating insect after it was found in holiday decorations sold at retailers in both states.
Minnesota Public Radio News reports that Wisconsin inspectors found the critter called elongate hemlock scale on decorations including wreaths and evergreen boughs sold at Menards, Home Depot and other stores. It wasn’t found on Christmas trees.
Minnesota inspectors on Thursday found the insect on decorations at Menards and Home Depot stores in the Twin Cities region.
Officials are worried the bug could escape and infest forests and neighborhoods if evergreen decorations are composted, put out for collection or left in the woods. The insect doesn’t kill trees outright, but saps nutrients and weakens them.
Officials suggest burning evergreen decorations or bagging them for the landfill.