Authorities are asking Wisconsin residents who purchased chain store-bought Christmas wreaths and boughs, to burned or bag them them once the holiday season is over. The reason is according to Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Inspectors found an insect called called elongate hemlock scale on wreaths, boughs and other evergreen decorations.

Holiday decorations should not be composted or set aside to prevent the spread of this species. Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP’s) Plant director Brian Kuhn of DATCP’s Plant Industry Bureau. “If you compost this material, the insects may well attack conifers in your yard or neighborhood, and spread from there.”  Hemlock, spruce and fir trees are the most prone to infestations, and winter weather will not kill these pests.

All the major chains, that had infected products received them from suppliers in North Carolina and Inspectors also intercepted infested shipments from Virginia before they reached stores in Wisconsin. Stores have cooperated and destroyed any affected products, according to DATCP.  For more information Click Here