- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 7, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Authorities in Maine and elsewhere in the country are asking residents to be on the lookout for the destructive Asian longhorned beetle this month.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says August is the best time of the year to check trees for the invasive pest, which destroys trees. The beetles can cause branches to drop from trees, and worsen storm damage.

Tree deaths related to the beetle have been seen in New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says it needs help from the public to find and get rid of the beetles. The service calls August “Tree Check Month.”

The beetle was first seen in the U.S. in 1996. It has caused losses of more than 160,000 trees.

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