Consumers who could harm lumber supplies received a friendly reminder from the USDA over the holidays: don't transport wood infected with the Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer, Dutch elm disease, Sirex woodwasp, thousand cankers disease, hemlock woolly adelgid, sudden oak death, laurel wilt, and many others.
"We encourage everyone to help protect our country's natural resources from invasive species," said APHIS spokesperson Joelle Hayden. "Taking basic steps – like not moving firewood and following federal and state quarantines – will help keep these dangerous pests from spreading unintentionally."
Over 450 non-native forest insects and diseases have been identified in the United States, many of which can’t move on their own. Due to consumers transporting local wood to other parts of the country, new infestations have become abundant.
This has led to invasive insects and diseases killing tens of millions of trees in forests, cities, and towns across the country and lowering overall wood quality.
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