Workshop teaches how to identify invasive tree pests

2013-07-14T00:00:00Z Workshop teaches how to identify invasive tree pestsPhil Wieland, (219) 548-4352

VALPARAISO | To help prevent the Asian longhorn beetle from doing the kind of damage communities are now dealing with from the emerald ash borer, a two-hour workshop on the invasive pests will be held Monday for the public.

Lyndsay Ploehn, the associate educator-agriculture and natural resources at the Purdue Extension Service office in Valparaiso, will help set up a kind of Neighborhood Crime Watch for tree-killing bugs. The seminar will be from 1 to 3 p.m. in the community room at the Porter County United Way, 951 Eastport Centre Dr. in Valparaiso.

"It's more of an awareness and early detection program," Ploehn said. "People will learn how to identify the symptoms of the Asian longhorn beetle and the thousand cankers of walnut, both of which have been sighted and quarantined in Cincinnati.

"People are involved in looking for invasive species with the emerald ash borer, and we are going to build on that," she said. "A lot of counties have not experienced the ash borer and are not worried about invasive species. We were a little slow to catch on here with it, but now it is hitting us hard and we are getting calls all the time asking what to do."

The longhorn beetle, which prefers maple trees but will attack at least a dozen other species, is large enough for people to notice it. So, the state hopes to educate people for early detection. The session is open to the public, and Ploehn hopes those who deal with trees regularly will attend.

The session is free and people can preregister or get more information by calling the extension office at (219) 465-3555.

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