August is high-alert month for the Asian Longhorned beetle. The invasive species can cause extensive damage to forested areas and has been found as close as Boston.In Worcester, the beetle was responsible for destroying some 34,000 trees.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is asking Rhode Islanders to check local trees for dime-sized holes and dead branches that indicate the presence of the beetle.
"You could also see shallow chew marks in the bark where the beetle would lay eggs," said U.S.D.A. spokesman Elvis Cordova.
The beetle is recognizable by its black and white speckles and long, spotted, black and white antennae.
"If folks don't want to go anywhere near it for whatever reason, they can also take a picture of it," said Cordova. "And they can upload it to a report that they can fill out online."
If the specimen turns out to be the Asian Longhorned beetle, Cordova said the U.S.D.A. can send an inspector to the area within 24 hours.