Saturday, December 13, 2003

Has your potpourri been bugged?

Alerts have gone out in several states about batches of potpourri infested with adults and larvae of the non-native wood-boring beetle (Chlorophorus strobilicola). The beetles were first discovered last week in batches of scented pine cones being sold at a Target department store in North Carolina. The beetles have since been discovered in Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, and West Virginia. Georgia's Department of Agriculture is also on the lookout. The pinecones are being sold under several different names, and have been found at both Target and Walmart. Experts recommend that if you think you have purchased contaminated potpourri, you should either return it to the store where it was purchased, or double bag it before placing it in the trash. You can also call a toll-free help line at (888) 397-1517, but this may work only in Florida. There is currently very little information about this beetle species on the web, but I expect that will change over the next week or so. Update: The scented pinecone recall has gone national, and now covers potpourri sold at many different stores. You can read an article on the subject from Pest Control magazine, or view a FAQ from the USDA.

Thanks to a member of the Yahoo! group ma-eppc for posting the original alert.

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