BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A swarm of pests are attacking trees in New Jersey and causing trouble for homeowners.

One particular beetle from Asia — the Emerald Ash Borer — has caused the State Department of Agriculture to issue a warning, CBS2’s Christine Sloan reports.

The exotic bugs, known for their bright color, attacked ash trees near a Bridgewater strip mall.

“The adults lay eggs on a trees, the eggs hatch, the larvae bore into the tree and just underneath the bark of the tree and they create galleries as they feed and get larger and larger,” said Joseph Zoltowski, NJ Department of Agriculture.

The critters eventually stress a tree out, causing it to die within a couple of years.

Residents are being asked to pay close attention to these new bugs making their way to New Jersey for the first time so they don’t damage even more trees.

Zoltowski says to look for obvious exit holes that are very tiny.

“They are D shaped … they’re not oval … they’re not circular,” he added.

Other pesky bugs include inch worms and gypsy moths that target maple and oak trees — and come back year after year.

“They’re very small, very hairy .. and light … they spin a strand of silk so the winds will winds will blow them and disperse them 10, 15 or 20 miles,” Zoltowski said.

The Agriculture Department sprayed for gypsy moths in Morris and Passaic Counties in May, Sloan reports.

As for the Emerald Ash Borer, they were found in Ewing and Hillsborogh as well.

Officials believe the Emerald Ash Borer was first spotted in Michigan in wood-packing material.


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