CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Stono River County Park on Monday closed due to an infestation of Asian Longhorn Beetles. The closure is expected to last two weeks.
Charleston County Parks, Clemson Extension, and the US Department of Agriculture are working to remove the beetles from the park to prevent further deterioration of trees.
The beetles cause irreversible damage to trees, including “branch dieback, crown defoliation…, and shoots developing in abnormal places like the trunk.”
Trees damaged by the beetles will be replaced at a later time, thanks to a grant from the SCD Native Plant Society.
Residents should check trees for signs of the beetles, such as “pencil-sized round exit holes, dime-sized egg-laying pits on the lower branches and truck, [and] sawdust looking ‘frass’ around the base of the tree.”
Asian Longhorn Beetles have “black and white spotted coloration and bluish feet.” They are typically between 1-1.5 inches with four inch antennas.
Residents that see signs of an infestation should take photos and contact the Asian Longhorn Beetle program at Clemson University (843) 973-8329.