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Invasion of the Foliage Snatchers?: West Virginia officials fight ongoing war against forest-eating invasive insects

By JOHN McCOY

Charleston Gazette-Mail

State officials view the Asian longhorn beetle as a serious potential threat to West Virginia’s forests because the species kills maple trees. If the beetles make it to the Mountain State, Crutchfield said the damage would be “catastrophic.”
(Courtesy photo)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia has been invaded before, and it might be invaded again.

Several times in the not-too-distant past, non-native insects have made their way into the Mountain State. Once here, they launched assaults on the state’s forests.

Like an old Hollywood B-movie, The Invasion of the Foliage Snatchers has plenty of villains. Unlike a movie, it doesn’t end well for the good guys. Every time a wave of invaders comes through, trees die by the thousands.

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