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Indiana residents asked to check trees for beetle

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Monday, August 25, 2014 - 7:58 am

INDIANAPOLIS — State officials want Indiana residents to check trees for invasive forest insects called Asian longhorned beetles.

The beetles have not been spotted yet in Indiana, but they have been found near Cincinnati, Ohio. The beetles kill trees by burrowing into the wood, killing living tissue and weakening the tree's structure.

State officials say its preference for maple trees poses a high threat to Indiana's forests and urban tree communities. Maple species make up about 34 percent of Indiana's public trees, and nearly half of Indiana public trees are susceptible to the beetles.

The state Department of Natural Resources is asking Indiana residents to check their maple trees and report any that might be infested. Reported trees will be checked by the DNR staffers for verification.