State plant officials are warning consumers to dispose wreaths and other evergreen decorations properly after inspections found invasive insects on sold items at large chain stores throughout the state recently. According to a news release by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), inspectors found an insect called elongate hemlock scale (EHS) on wreaths, swags and other evergreen decorations. DATCP spokesperson Donna Gilson explains the best way to prevent the invasive insect from causing damage to the environment.
Gilson says the EHS does not kill trees but rather can weaken and makes them more susceptible to other pests and diseases. Native to Asia, the elongated hemlock scale can affect over 40 different conifer species and is hard to control by pesticides.