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State asks people to check evergreens for invasive pest

(WKOW) - The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is warning people who bought evergreens this holiday to check for an invasive pest called Elongate Hemlock Scale (EHS) and properly dispose of any holiday greenery that may show signs of infestation.

DATCP said you can identify whether their evergreens have EHS by looking at the underside of the branches. Brown spots on the underside of the needles are a sign of infestation.

This season, infested greenery, including fir trees, wreaths and decor were brought in from suppliers in North Carolina with some material labeled as "fresh from the Blue Ridge Mountains."

The preferred method is to burn an EHS-infested evergreen to kill the pest. Prior to burning, check the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestFire/restrictions.html for any burning restrictions in your area.

The other method is to bag your evergreen wreaths or décor separately and put them in the trash. If your municipality picks up Christmas trees, you may put an infested tree out for municipal pick-up. To prevent the pests from spreading, do not compost or place infested evergreens in a forest.

To learn more about the invasive pest, click HERE.

Amber Meyer

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