Blown up photograph of an ambrosia beetle. Courtesy of the University of Florida.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
PALM HARBOUR, Fla. - Officials say an exotic pest is killing hundreds of trees in the Tampa Bay area.
Pinellas County officials said Monday that the red bay ambrosia beetle had been found in John Chestnut Park and was spreading to the adjacent 8,000-acre Brooker Creek Preserve. It also has been found in northwestern Hillsborough County.
The insect spreads laurel wilt disease in red bay laurel, swamp bay and avocado trees. There is no cure.
Steven Harper of the Pinellas County Department of Environmental Management tells the Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/PnmO7a ) that the only thing that can be done is to let the epidemic run its course.
The red bay ambrosia beetle is originally from Asia. State records show that it first appeared near Jacksonville in 2005. It's since spread to most Florida counties.
Information from: Tampa Bay (Fla.)Times, http://tampabay.com
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Deveante Bell, 19, is charged with the death of Yellow Cab driver John Dooley on Sunday evening. Dooley, 56, was found in his cab in the driveway of an abandoned house.