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Tree-Killing Asian Beetles Found In Boston

State officials say Asian longhorned beetles, the tree-killing creatures that have wreaked havoc in Worcester, have been found on the grounds of Boston's Faulkner Hospital.

The beetles were found over the weekend in six red maple trees at Faulkner in Jamaica Plain, state officials said Tuesday.

The six trees where the beetles were spotted were taken down Tuesday morning.

The beetles feed on about a dozen different types of trees. They feed on a tree's tissue beneath the bark, burrowing into the tree and laying eggs until the tree dies.

Wendy Fox, a spokeswoman for the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation, said the area where the beetles were spotted will be carefully surveyed going forward. As a quarantine, the state is prohibiting the removal of trees or tree parts from property within a mile and a half of the hospital.

Federal officials who have been examining the beetle problems in Worcester will now turn some of their attention to Boston.

"We're asking for the citizens, the sort-of citizen-scientists, to be out there, looking at the trees on their property," said Clint McFarland, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "and doing that can help us to find if there's anything else out there."

Most importantly, residents are asked to only use local firewood and not to transport untreated wood.

The invasive species has forced the removal of thousands of trees in the Worcester area over the past couple of years. It has also caused massive destruction in New Jersey and Chicago.

Officials are urging residents to call 866-702-9938 if they see the beetles. To learn more, you can go to the U.S. Department of Agriculture repository for all things beetle: www.beetlebusters.info

This program aired on July 6, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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