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Curious About Mystery Black Boxes

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These traps were hung in 2011 to catch Asian Longhorned beetles. (WBZ-TV Photo)

These traps were hung in 2011 to catch Asian Longhorned beetles. (WBZ-TV Photo)

WBZ-TV's David Wade David Wade
Multiple award-winning journalist David Wade co-anchors WBZ-TV News at...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Some are curious about mysterious black boxes in Massachusetts. Beth from Sterling asked, “I’ve noticed black bird feeder contraptions, they’re attached to trees, but there are no birds. What are they?”

There are five-hundred of the oated cardboard structures, hanging from trees in Worcester, Shrewsbury, Boylston, West Boylston and Holden.

A team from the U.S. Forest Service is checking them.

WBZ-TV’s David Wade reports

But it’s not birds they’re trying to attract. It’s the dangerous Asian longhorned beetles, that have caused the destruction of thirty-thousand trees in Worcester County.

The experimental traps can be installed cheaply and cover a lot of area.

The traps can also be used as sentinels, signaling if the beetles are moving into new areas.

The goal isn’t to catch every single beetle, it’s to know where they’re at so we can deal with them.

The stakes are high. The beetles bore into hardwood trees….eventually killing them…..but the cure is almost as bad.

The only way to combat the beetles is to destroy the infested trees. So if the traps become a tool for more easily and quickly finding the pests, their spread can be stopped.

The hope is to totally get rid of this beetle from the United States.

And save thousands of trees at the same time.

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