In 2013, the emerald ash borer made its debut in North Carolina. The devastation of forests north and northwest caused by this invasive beetle was already well-known, so its discovery was met with dread. The ash forests were dying, and quickly. The future did not look good for North Carolina’s ash trees. Over the next few years, the emerald ash borer continued to spread across the state. As of August 2018, the tree-killing beetle has been found in 36 out of the 100 counties.
The longhorn tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis), an exotic East Asian tick, has never previously established a population in the US. It is a known serious pest of livestock in the Australasian and Western Pacific Regions where it occurs. It is an aggressive biter and frequently builds intense infestations on domestic hosts causing great stress, reduced growth and production, and exsanguination. As the tick can reproduce parthenogenetically (without a male), a single fed female
The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is currently not known to exist in North Carolina. This non-native invasive pest is native to China and was first found in the U.S. in eastern Pennsylvania in 2014. Since then, it has spread to three additional states: New York, Delaware, and in January 2018, Virginia. While this sucking insect prefers tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), it has an extremely wide host range, including: pine, hardwoods (maple, poplar, willow), fruit
Laurel wilt is a fungal disease of plants in the Laurel family that is carried from tree to tree by a small beetle called the redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus). The disease has killed nearly all of the mature redbay (Persea borbonia), the most widely affected host, in affected areas south of North Carolina. The fungus that causes laurel wilt (Raffaelea lauricola) is very aggressive and mortality is thought to occur in trees attacked by a single female beetle. Frequ