Indiana residents urged to check trees for Asian beetle

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In this undated photo provided by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, an Asian Longhorned Beetle crawls along a sawed off tree limb. On Tuesday, May 14, 2013, State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine announced that trees in Manhattan and Staten Island have been declared free of the invasive species that was first detected in the U.S. in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn in 1996. (AP Photo/The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A Purdue University professor is urging Indiana residents to check trees in their area for signs of a destructive beetle species that’s damaging trees in others parts of the Midwest.

Asian longhorned beetle infestations have been reported in Chicago and Cincinnati. Purdue entomologist Clifford Sadof says that puts Indiana in the at-risk zone for infestations of the invasive beetle, which has no natural enemies in the Midwest.

The beetle hasn’t been found in Indiana. But Sadof says it could cause much more damage to Indiana’s trees than the emerald ash borer because it can infest a wide variety of trees, including maple, birch, willow and poplar.

Hoosiers can download an app at purdueplantdoctor.com with images of the beetle, which has a shiny, white-spotted black body and long black-and-white banded antennae.

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