Asian long-horned beetle is a beetle that can be invasive to your backyard or your community. This type of beetle first originated in China and was believed to have entered the U.S. through a solid wood packing material shipped from China. These Asian long-horn beetle are around less than 5cm long. Its body is shiny black in color with white spots and it has two long antennas. Although it is not generally dangerous to pets and humans, the Asian long horned beetle could bite if they are threatened.
This beetle is known to be invasive because it is considered as a pest, attacking hardwood trees like chestnut, willow, birch and maple. It feeds on healthy trees. So at this stage, there is no shortage of something to eat. Once these trees are being infected, they will end up killing it from inside out.
The female beetles would lay eggs on multiple locations, it can be on the exposed roots or the trunk of the tree. During that egg-laying period, adults would feed on the bark. The larvae on the other hand would eat the tree’s phloem, the innermost layer of the bark that is carrying the nutrients. Because of this, the tree will continue to weaken as it loses the nutrients it needs to grow and live. You will notice that the discoloration on the tree’s leaves, the holes on the trunk and the tree will soon die.
If these insects continue to grow and breed, it could devastate the trees in the community. There is also a possibility that it could affect maple syrup production, eventually affecting the maple syrup industry.
Protect yourself and your community. Do what you can to learn more about the specie. Educate yourself about how to spot the existence of the beetle so you can prevent it from spreading. Get involved if you need to. Check with your local community if they have an existing eradication program and cooperate so this can be kept under control.
There are many types of beetles in this world. They range from harmless little creatures to the very harsh and dangerous for forests, the Asian Long Horned Beetle. But did you know that you could be eating beetles or applying them to your skin potentially every day? I feel like I sensed your jaw drop. Yep, many of us eat beetles and / or put them on our skin without even knowing it. So what am I talking about? How are beetles being used in the way? Find out below.
Ever wonder how your ice cream, yogurt, candy, and fruit drinks get their color? Pink, red, and purple are among the colors that beetles can make. More specifically, the red cochineal beetles. These beetles are farmed on large scales, then harvested, then dried, and finally crushed to produce a red dye called carmine. Until this year where the FDA has changed the law, this dye was referred to as ‘artificial color’, ‘color added’ or the classic “natural and artificial coloring.” Additionally to food products, carmine is also used in some lip sticks! Who would have thought that so many of our foods and drinks could be colored with beetles?
Crazy to hear that beetles are sometimes used in workout supplements. It is made from a beetle that secretes an acid like juice which is called cantharidin. This ‘juice’ comes from this beetles leg joints when it is threatened. Seeing as it is very difficult to remove the juice from the beetle, they are simply dried as a whole and crushed to produce a powder. When this powder is ingested, your body excretes the cantharidin in the urine. But this stuff can be very dangerous in higher quantities so it is best to first see your doctor before you take any of these supplements.