MDARD implements new quarantine for mountain pine beetle
Department working to protect Michigan’s pine trees from devastating pest
LANSING–Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell is taking steps to protect the state’s pine trees from a potentially devastating exotic pest–the mountain pine beetle. Mountain pine beetle is one of the most destructive forest pests in North America, known for outbreaks that have killed millions of pine trees in the western United States and Canada.
“Mountain Pine Beetle hasn’t been detected in Michigan yet, but we’re taking the necessary, proactive steps to ensure our pine resources are here for generations to come,” said McDowell. “Many of us remember the havoc wreaked by emerald ash borer. This new quarantine and restrictions are working to ensure similar devastation following the introduction of a non-native pest doesn’t happen again.”
The state’s new Mountain Pine Beetle Exterior State Quarantine regulates the movement of pine forest products with bark including logs, stumps, branches, lumber, and firewood originating from a number of impacted states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.
Mountain pine beetles affect pine trees by laying eggs under the bark and introducing a blue stain fungus. The joint action of larval feeding and fungal colonization kills the host tree within a few weeks of a successful attack. As beetle populations increase, or as more trees become stressed because of drought or other causes, the beetle population may quickly increase and spread.
Mountain pine beetle has expanded its range, moving northward and eastward. The expansion is attributed to warmer winters, which allow more beetles to survive. Michigan’s pine resources are at risk of attack by MPB, including white pine, jack pine, red pine, Austrian pine, and Scots pine.
“Michiganders traveling out West should not transport firewood or untreated pine from states with known infestations,” added McDowell.
Additional information about MPB is available at www.michigan.gov/invasivespecies. The MPB Exterior State Quarantine is available on the department’s website, and suspected quarantine violations can be reported by emailing MDARD-NurseryCE@michigan.gov.
The jumping worm also known as the snake worm or Alabama jumper, is an invasive earthworm that was introduced to our area through mulch, compost, nursery stock, and as fishing bait. It appears grey to brownish in color and can be 1.5 to 8 inches long and has a white smooth band around body instead of puffy raised one. The jumping worm will act crazy, jumping and thrashing around and may shed their tails when handled. It is a popular fishing bait due to the fact it thrashes around and attracts fish. The jumping worm completely changes the soil and disturbs the natural composition of leaf debris on the forest floor. This leaf debris is an important resource to many native plants and animals, and its removal and loss will have long-term, harmful effects on forests.
The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect in the lanternfly family. The spotted lanternfly feeds on a variety of host plants including fruit trees, ornamental trees, woody trees and vines. The spotted lanternfly grows to be 1 to 1 ½ inches wide with large visually impressive wings. Forewings are light brown with black spots at the front and a speckled band at the rear. Rear wings are scarlet with black spots at front and white and black bars at the back, they have a yellow abdomen with black bars. Nymphs and adults cause damage when they feed, sucking sap from stems and leaves. They can reduce photosynthesis, weaken the plant and eventually contribute to the plant's death.
The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect in the jewel beetle family. The rapid spread of this invasive through North America is most likely due to the transport of infested firewood, ash nursery stock, unprocessed ash logs, and other ash products. The emerald ash borer is golden green or a brassy color overall with darker, metallic emerald green wing covers. Larva are worm-like and cream colored. Adult emerald ash borers feed on the foliage of ash trees, while the larvae tunnel and feed on the underside of the bark and cut off the transportation of nutrients and water to the tree which kills the trees.
The nutria is an invasive mammal similar to a muskrat. The nutria can be found near permanent water, particularly near reed beds, swamps and marshes. They can also be found in rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds. The nutria is a large rodent weighing an average of about 12 pounds. The males are a little larger than the females and their body length is approximately 16-24 inches with a 12-18-inch tail. They have coarse dark brown hair, webbed hind feet and bright orange-yellow incisors. Nutria breed all year-round and make many babies which makes them quite prolific. The reason they are invasive is because they burrow under the banks of rivers and dykes causing instability and they eat the vegetation that holds together wetland soil, causing major erosion.
The hammerhead or broadhead worm is an invasive snake-like worm which can grow up to a foot in length. It gets its name from its half-moon-shaped head. The mouth of a hammerhead worm is located midway down the bottom surface of its body rather than on its head. The hammerhead worm is carnivorous and feeds primarily on earthworms, but they are also known to consume other soil dwelling invertebrates. Other animals rarely consume the hammerhead worm because the worm produces tetrodotoxin, which is a poison and makes it taste badly. Recent sightings of this species have been increasing due to possible climate change and human migration.