The Asian longhorn beetle, a native to China and southeast Asia, is an invasive pest of trees in Britain. The larvae of the beetle feed on the wood of a wide range of broadleaved trees, which causes damage and will ultimately kill affected trees. The beetle has caused extensive damage to trees where it has been accidentally introduced in recent years – for example in the USA and Italy. Until recently the only evidence of the beetle in Britain was within imported wood packaging intercepted by Plant Health inspectors. However, a breeding population was found in Kent in 2012 – most likely introduced via wooden crates containing imported stone. The beetle is subject to regulation and movement controls are in place; it is important that all suspected sightings are reported.
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