APOPKA, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Aggressive beetles in Apopka are destroying trees from the inside out and now the city is taking action.
“In the evening, you can hear them chewing away inside,” said Evergreen Lawn Care owner Jim Fanning.
Killer flathead wood borer beetles are aggressively destroying already weakened pine trees. “Once one pine tree is infected, they’re going to town,” said Fanning.
It’s a problem so bad in Apopka, the mayor posted on Facebook that City Council voted to chop down all of the pine trees in the Northwest Recreation Complex and along the eastside of Jason Dwelley Parkway.
Hundreds of trees are already dead. The good ones are coming down too so the city can sell timber while it’s still healthy.
“At least they’re taking some action on it. It’s something that they’re not letting get out of control before it kills everything around here,” said Paul Remington, of Apopka.
Fanning says it’s a smart move. “How in the world would you ever spray all these trees? I don’t know that you could come in here and spray or anything like that. There’s such an infestation in here,” said Fanning.
Fanning says this is an inside job. These beetles work their way through these trees from the inside out. “They’re eating the nutrients inside the tree. They’re drinking the water.”
These beetles, he says, commonly lay eggs inside weak pine trees, further destroying them and then going from pine to pine. He says there’s nothing you can do to keep them from coming, so if they’ve already gotten into one of your pines, it’s best to just chop it.
The city is planning to plant oaks, magnolias and cedars in place of the pines.