GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is currently treating and monitoring a section of Oceana County after it was confirmed that an invasive insect was feeding on trees in the area.
Recently, MDARD was notified about the possibility that the balsam woolly adelgid had been found feeding on trees in the county. It has since been confirmed, and treatment is already underway.
“We don’t really know right now how it made its way into Oceana County,” MDARD invasive species specialist Robert Miller said. “That’s one of the things we’re looking into.”
The balsam woolly adelgid, which is not native to Michigan, was first identified in the state back in 2001. The tiny insect sucks sap out of trees, most commonly firs, and eventually kills the trees.
The species was also found in Missaukee County in September. MDARD is working with the horticulture industry in Michigan to combat the potential damage.
Miller said the department is asking residents to keep an eye on changes to firs in their areas and report any problems to stop the spread of the insects.
“We want folks to look for little, white woolly masses on the main trunk of the tree. Branches that are discolored. They’ll be a red color with swelling. Disfigurement of a branch. And overall a tree that just doesn’t look healthy,” he said.
If you notice any changes or issues, you can report them to MDARD here.