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NY seeks pool owners to report beetle sightings
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York's environmental agency wants to bolster its battle against invasive Asian longhorned beetles by tapping into a widespread network of bug traps: backyard swimming pool filters.
The Department of Environmental Conservation is recruiting pool owners to participate in a survey through Aug. 30 to keep watch for the beetles before they cause serious damage to forests and street trees.
Asian longhorned beetles have killed hundreds of thousands of trees across the country. There has been heavy damage to maples in parts of New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio and Illinois.
Biologists say pool monitoring is simple and cheap, and has the potential to become the most effective method of detecting invasive beetles. Vermont and New Hampshire also have citizen pool-monitoring programs.