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Forest in Switzerland forced to be cut down due to beetle infestation

Forest in Switzerland forced to be cut down due to beetle infestation

A large infestation of Asian long-horned beetles has been reported in central Switzerland and has caused damage to at least 75 trees. The outbreak is not the first of its kind in Switzerland, but it is one of the largest in terms of scale. 

180 trees felled to prevent beetles spreading across Switzerland

The most recent infestation was detected in Zell near Lucerne in August 2022. The local council (Gemeinde) reacted to the discovery by cutting down a number of trees in the affected area. 

Approximately 180 trees have been felled by the authorities in an attempt to kerb the spread of the beetle across the country. Other countries such as the US and Canada have used this method to successfully slow down or stop further damage to forests. 

Beetles suspected to arrive in wood imported from Asia

The Asian long-horned beetle is native to China and the Korean peninsula and is suspected to have arrived in Switzerland in packages of wooden building materials. Though the insect poses no risk to humans or animals, it is particularly troublesome for trees, since the species attacks shrubs and maple, birch, horse chestnut and willow trees, usually killing the trees it attacks. 

The Federal Office for the Environment has called on the public to keep an eye on trees in the area and notify the authorities of any unusual developments that could suggest the presence of the bug. Catching infestations early can save more forests in Switzerland, they concluded.

Emily Proctor

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Emily Proctor

Emily studied International Relations and Chinese, and is now undertaking Master's degree in International Security. She enjoys writing, cooking, and playing piano.

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