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Aliens

Exotic animals and plants are crisscrossing the globe as never before. Many of these unwelcome species have found their way to the Chicago area and are wreaking havoc on our local ecosystem.

(page 9 of 15)

NAME: Asian long-horned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)
ORIGIN: Asia
DATE INTRODUCED: 1996
HOW IT GOT HERE: Arrived in cargo crates from Asia

First seen in the area in 1998 and now thought to have been eradicated here, these black beetles with white spots and long ringed antennae went on an eight-year tree-killing spree, wiping out 1,771 trees in the Chicago area, mostly in the Ravenswood neighborhood, and more than 31,000 trees in other affected areas in Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. Unlike the latest invasive menace, the selective emerald ash borer, the Asian long-horned beetles “went for just about everything—elms, maples, oaks, magnolias, ornamental trees—whatever hardwoods happened to be around,” says the Field’s Summers.

THE FIGHT: With no known chemical or biological defense against the voracious insect, infested areas were quarantined and affected trees were chopped down and burned to destroy the eggs buried in the wood.

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