After Beetle Invasion, Worcester Trees In Line For Chemical Treatment

Federal officials say more than 95,000 trees in the Worcester area are in line for chemical treatment this spring in the ongoing battle against the invasive Asian longhorned beetle.

The insecticide treatments cover about 2,100 acres in parts of Worcester, West Boylston, Holden, Boylston and Shrewsbury. The treatments are scheduled to start April 25 and end July 1.

"It's kind of like a needle application where it's inserted into the tree and then the application goes directly into the tree, so there's no spraying, there's no leaking of chemicals, it's right into the tree itself," said Rhonda Santos, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The insecticide imidacloprid has been shown to reduce Asian longhorned beetle populations. The Department of Agriculture treated more than 62,000 trees with the chemical in central Massachusetts last year.

Property owners in the designated treatment areas will be contacted for their permission.

More than 29,000 trees that were infected or at risk of infection by the destructive insect have been taken down since the beetle's discovery in the area August 2008.

With reporting from the WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press.

This program aired on March 10, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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