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Buy local evergreen products to protect against invasive species

A reminder to shoppers to inspect their plants
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 6:57 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is reminding shoppers to inspect their evergreen products for signs of invasive species before purchasing.

In previous years, state officials have found evergreen products infested with invasive pests that were being imported into Wisconsin from other states.

“We at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, we inspect evergreen products to protect our plants in the state. So that includes trees, crops,” said Leeann Duwe, public information officer for DATCP. “We are helping to make sure that any type of invasive species or diseases, to prevent those from being in the state or spread if they’re already established.”

The Elongated Hemlock Scale is one of the invasive species DATCP is trying to keep out of Wisconsin.

“But they’re mainly on the east coast. So that’s where Elongated Hemlock Scale is established,” said Duwe.

Duwe said EHS usually makes travels from plants imported from eastern states.

“In regards to Elongated Hemlock Scale, our main focus is on fir, wreaths, and trees, so that is where we have seen those pests previously so we want to make sure that we’re expecting those a little more closely to make sure that they are not infested with any type of pest or diseases,” said Duwe.

You can help by purchasing evergreen products that have been grown locally and inspecting decor for signs of invasive species, according to the Lincoln County Land Services Department.

To identify EHS, DATCP recommends looking for discolored needles and small brown, oblong scale insects on the underside of the needles.

If you suspect EHS on your evergreen products, please report it to DATCP’s pest hotline at (866) 440-7523 and if possible, email a clear, close-up picture to datcppesthotline@wi.gov.

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