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DEC urges people to check swimming pool skimmer boxes for beetles

Attention swimming pool owners: The state Department of Environmental Conservation is asking you to look through the yucky stuff that collects in your pool’s skimmer boxes for the Asian long-horned beetles, an invasive species that kills trees.

In a recent news release, the DEC is urging pool owners to participate in the Division of Lands and Forests annual Asian Long-horned Beetle Swimming Pool Survey in August.

This is the time of the year when the ALBs emerge as adults and are most active outside of their host tree. The goal is to find these exotic invasive beetles before they can cause serious damage to forest and street trees.

The DEC is asking people with pools to keep an eye out for any insects that are about an inch-and-half long, black with white spots, with long black-and-white antennae. The beetles leave perfectly round exit holes about the size of a dime on branches and tree trunks. Sawdust like material called frass will collect on branches and around the base of the tree.

If a suspicious insect is found in the skimmers or pool, the DEC is asking that a photo be taken and emailed to foresthealth@dec.ny.gov or mail the insect itself to the Division of Land and Forests Forest Health Diagnostic Lab for identification. The address is 108 Game Farm Road, Delmar, N.Y. 12054, attention: Jessica Cancelliere.

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