HIGH COUNTRY — While there are many interesting bugs in the High Country, not all are good for some of our plants. This is especially true for those insects that are not native (exotics), sometimes referred to as invasive. Because many of our plants have few natural defenses against exotic insect invaders, such as predators that feed on the bugs, or parasites that kill them, the result in some cases is serious damage and death to native plants. While a previous article I wrote discussed the non-native and annoying marmorated stink bug and multi-colored Asian lady beetle, other potentially invasive bugs in our area are much more concerning.

Many are no doubt aware of the damage to, and often ultimate death, for many of our Carolina and Eastern (Canadian) hemlocks caused by the hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae. You may have seen the many small, white, cotton-like “blobs” on the tree branches where the needles attach, which in fact are a covering for the bodies of this sap-sucking invasive insect. The adelgid originated from Asia (possibly Japan too) and was found in the U.S. Pacific Northwest many years ago.

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