New insect pest found in Christmas greenery in South Dakota

South Dakota News

In this Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, photo, a North Carolina fraser fir Christmas tree is for sale in Lenoir, N.C. A Christmas tree shortage is being blamed on the Great Recession. Poor sales a decade ago, limited the number of trees planted, which are being harvested this year. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan)

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota Department of Agriculture says a new insect pest is appearing in Christmas greenery sold in South Dakota and surrounding states.

The pest is known as the elongate hemlock scale.

An adult female scale on needles from a wreath sold in South Dakota. Courtesy of South Dakota Department of Agriculture

South Dakota’s state forester says the Asian insect was detected by the state’s forest health team in wreaths last Christmas.

The insect was found on wreaths made of fir that were shipped in from the southern U.S last year.

The insect has appeared on similar greenery this year.

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture has put a stop order on the sale of the material. 

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