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Some people cannot wait for the cold winter months to arrive. While other people long for the summer heat. No matter what season you prefer, we can all agree that warming up by the fireplace is one aspect of winter that can be quite pleasant. However, these days people must be more cautious about where they purchase their firewood. Experts recommend that people should only buy their firewood from local sources. During the past several years, experts have found imported firewood to be infested with invasive insect pests. It has already been confirmed that several invasive insect species have arrived in certain US regions solely by hitching rides on imported firewood.

Several batches of firewood imported into the United States from foreign locations have been infested with different types of invasive insects that destroy trees. Many shipments of various species of hardwood and pine trees have contained invasive insects. The shorter the distance that your firewood has traveled the better. All firewood that has been shipped over long distances is more likely to be infested with invasive insects. The types of insects that destroy trees cannot travel far on their own, but shipping firewood poses a risk to regions that are currently free from tree-eating insect pests. By using wood that originated from your own region you are greatly reducing the chances that invasive insects will spread to new regions.

Wood pallets imported into the US from Asian countries have caused the destructive Asian longhorn beetle to infest trees located in the upper midwest and the northeast. An invasive wasp known as the sirex woodwasp was imported into the US in the same way the Asian longhorn beetle. This wasp is killing pine trees in the midwest and the northeast. Softwood timber trees in the south are also being destroyed by this Asian wasp. What is perhaps the most destructive tree pest of all is the emerald ash borer. Once again, this invasive insect was imported from Asia, and was discovered in Michigan in 2002. This invasive insect has killed at least one million ash trees in numerous states throughout the US. In order to avoid contributing to the spread of these invasive insects experts recommend buying wood cut from trees that exist within fifty miles of your home.

Do you think that scientists will ever be able to stop the devastation caused by emerald ash borers?


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