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City inspectors on the lookout for devastating Asian borer beetle<span> <p>Sightings of the Polyphagous shot hole borer beetle (PSHB) were first reported to the City’s Invasive Species Unit (ISU) in April 2019. </p> <p>Since then, an experienced invasive species removal team from the City has visited 361 sites across Cape Town to inspect trees that were suspected of being infested by the Asian borer beetle. We have found that 160 trees in Somerset West have been infested, of which 156 were chipped on site, carefully removed under cover of heavy duty plastic, and incinerated at appropriate sites. The City is busy removing the remaining four infested trees.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:1898px;" /> </figure></span> <span> <p>‘About 130 of the infested trees were removed from privately owned residential properties in the northern parts of Somerset West, and the rest from City-owned land – mainly road reserves and parks. At this stage, it seems that the pest is confined to this area only,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.</p> <p>The ISU has recently appointed a team of temporary workers through the Expanded Public Works Programme to assist with inspecting trees in and around the Somerset West area to record the extent and spread of the pest. </p> <p>‘I’m asking residents to please allow these workers access to their properties so that they can inspect the trees for any possible infestation. The workers will be wearing dark green shirts, and must have an identification card with their name, photo, staff number, and City logo in their possession. We also encourage members of the public to be on the lookout for possible infestations on their properties. This beetle is extremely harmful and devastating,’ said Alderman Nieuwoudt.<br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:1898px;" /> </figure></span> <span> <p>There were reports about alleged infestations from other parts in Cape Town.</p> <p>‘However, when we went out to inspect these trees, we found that it was a false alarm. I want to thank our residents for their vigilance in reporting possible sightings to the City, and I also want to commend the Invasive Species Unit for the swift response which I’m sure has assisted us thus far in preventing the pest from spreading,’ said Alderman Nieuwoudt.</p> <p> <strong>What to look for:</strong><br>Indications that the tree may be infested include tiny (not more than 2mm) holes directly into the tree (not under the bark); oozing of sap or resin, frass (millings), and later partial or full dieback of the tree. The insect is black, about 2mm in size, and is sometimes seen flying. More information on identification and a list of known host tree species is available on the ISU’s website at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:1138px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span>​​</span><span>​​</span> <p>The spread of the PSHB pest is also buoyed by transporting infested material and infested firewood. Residents are advised not to cut down or transport possibly infested trees and firewood, but rather to report the infestation to the ISU.</p><p>‘Residents should also be on the lookout for dishonest or uninformed contractors who offer to treat, cut and transport infested material. The City is currently assisting residents with removal of infested material at no cost. In fact, the ISU has spent nearly R1,3 million over the past ten months to remove infested trees,’ said Alderman Nieuwoudt. </p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info note">​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>To report any sightings:</h4><p>         </p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Click on ‘Report a PSHB sighting’ to give your details and the location of the infested tree. Residents can also upload images of the tree and entrance tunnels as this will assist the City to do a speedy identification.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">call <a>0860 103 089</a> and state that a possible PSHB case is being reported</div></li></ul></div></div>​​</span><span>​​</span> <p>The exact location of the sighting is very important. Officials from the City’s Invasive Species Unit and an arborist at the City Parks and Recreation Department will conduct an investigation.</p><p>To read more about the invasive beetle, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, and more information is also available at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. </p><p> <br> <strong>End</strong><br></p>2020-02-25T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#5ddbe605-1355-4391-9598-bd9534f9f179;L0|#05ddbe605-1355-4391-9598-bd9534f9f179|Invasive Alien Species;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#edf0e3b8-f398-4bf8-a0ff-2f674175b062;L0|#0edf0e3b8-f398-4bf8-a0ff-2f674175b062|city parks1

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