Beetles Released to Attack Hemlock Pest in Vermont

Dec 7, 2012

Nearly 400 small black beetles have been released onto four Vermont hemlock trees near the Massachusetts state line to feed off an insect that's been destroying the trees.

The trees in Pownal are infested by the woolly adelgid. The plan is for the beetles to reproduce, spread and control the adelgid population. The beetle, a native of the Pacific northwest, eats nothing but adelgids.

The Bennington Banner reports the trees are on property owned by Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Authorities say the beetles' presence in Pownal is the first time they have been seen in Bennington County. They were found by volunteers. Their most visible form is a white, waxy substance that appears on the needled branches of hemlock trees. The adelgids produce this material as they feed on the plant's fluids.

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Hemlock Wooly Adelgid
Credit Courtesy Vermont Department of Forest Parks and Recreation