BY BILL FERRIS
Wanted: The Asian longhorned beetle and the emerald ash borer beetle. These insidious insects are wreaking havoc on trees across America. Beetle Detectives, a site from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has put out an APB for some science-minded sleuths to snoop around local flora to see if they can spot these bugs. If they do, your students can report the beetles’ whereabouts via the Beetle Detectives website. The site ranks classrooms according to how many reports they submit, allowing kids to win bragging rights over less-observant gumshoes.
The site includes vital information about both the Asian longhorn and emerald ash borer. It also shows several photos depicting the telltale signs of infestation — visible exit holes in the tree bark, a receding canopy starting at the top of the tree, and vertical fissures in the bark are just a few indications that a tree has been infiltrated. Grab your magnifying glass and head into the woods to help put a stop to these voracious vermin.