Invasive Insect on Evergreens: What you need to know

Posted by Megan Nichols on Jan 3rd 2019

Over the last several days the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the University of Minnesota Extension have issued statements about a new invasive pest found in Minnesota. Elongate Hemlock Scale (EHS) entered the state on infected Christmas trees and other holiday greens. EHS has also been found on greens sold in Wisconsin. EHS was found on trees and other holiday greens sold at two retailers in the Twin Cities area; specifically, Home Depot and Menards. We now know all products originated in North Carolina. This invasive pest originated in Asia, has been on the East Coast for several years, and has now been shipped West. It’s favorite source of food is the Hemlock, but it will also attack some Firs, Spruce, and Pine. It is about a quarter inch long, looks like a hard, brown, shell and resides on the underside of evergreen needles. We would like to assure you that the Christmas trees and evergreens sold at Tonkadale were not sourced from the same location as the infested material. We are lucky to have incredible local Christmas tree and evergreen vendors located in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Specialty evergreens such as cedars and firs are sustainably sourced from a vendor in Ohio who ships greens out of Oregon. What should you do if you suspect infected product, or just want to be extra cautious? The Minnesota Department of Agriculture recommends either burning suspect evergreens or bagging then disposing of them in the garbage. Do not throw boughs in the compost, in the woods or in your yard. They may harbor dormant eggs laid by the scale that will hatch and begin to feed in spring. To learn more, check out the information from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and U of M Extension: MDA Encourages Residents to Burn or Bag Evergreen Decorations Bought at Several Minnesota Retailers Help fight new invasive insect in Minnesota