One beetle may have brought lethal tree disease now across SE
NEW ORLEANS - Researchers from Mississippi and Florida say a single female fungus-farming beetle could have been the source of a disease that has killed an estimated 300 million redbay trees and threatens Florida's avocado groves.
The beetle and her fungus arrived in Georgia in 2002, and their clones have spread west into Texas and north to North Carolina.
Mississippi State University researcher John Riggins says they could spread nearly to Canada on sassafras, the source of the powder used to thicken filé gumbo.
Researchers at the University of Florida say bay leaves used for cooking could also face problems if this species gets into Mediterranean areas where bay laurels are cultivated and grow wild.
The U.S. infections all apparently come from one tiny beetle, or one beetle and her immediate offspring.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
After outrageous remarks about officers' deaths, mayor parts ways with activist
Water was an issue at Thursday morning house fire
Man demanding answers after windshield crushed by golf ball
18-wheeler causes community power outage
EBRSO wants to remind residents to take simple precautions to avoid burglaries