There's a new, potential threat to Charlotte's tree canopy. The Asian longhorned beetle and spotted lanternfly are non-native, invasive insects that love to feed on many of the trees that are native to Charlotte. They aren't established in Charlotte or Mecklenburg County yet; however, they are getting close to North Carolina and residents should be on the lookout for them.
Asian longhorned beetle grubs prefer maple trees but can feed on 29 species of hardwoods. The grubs create feeding tunnels inside the tree. When they change into adults, they bore their way out of the tree, creating holes large enough to fit a pencil. Once the beetle infests a tree, there is no known cure. This insect was discovered in South Carolina in June of 2020. The spotted lanternfly feeds on maple, polar, tree of heaven, birch, apples and many other species. It is native to China and has been discovered in several states, including Virginia and West Virginia.
These insects can be transported to new locations by people moving firewood or tree parts infested by Asian longhorned beetles or unknowingly transporting the eggs of spotted lanternfly on vehicles or personal belongings. Please DO NOT transport firewood to or from campsites or campgrounds!
The North Carolina State University Extension, North Carolina Department of Agriculture's Plant Industry Division, and North Carolina Forest Service have developed a Poolside Pests Program. Learn more about the program and report sightings.