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Baseball bats endangered by invasive beetles

A Scientific American article reports that baseball bat manufacturers are worried about the march of the emerald ash borer through US forests, a pest that can kill an ash tree in just 3 years. Ash is the favored wood for bats, followed by maple. Maple too is also threatened by the Asian loghorn beetle. The ash borer is spreading rapidly via infected firewood, among other things. “It is the most destructive invasive insect to have ever entered North America,” reports a research entomologist with the U.S. Forest Service. All may not be lost, though: The US Forest Service has begun trial releases of a wasp that parasitizes the ash borer, and the longhorn beetle spreads much more slowly and so far has been controlled by destruction of infected trees.


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