Beatles Tree Killed By Actual Beetles

George Harrison Tree
Image Credit To Carlos: www.flickr.com/armadillo444

In news of the ironic; a Los Angeles memorial tree planted on behalf of the Beatle’s lead guitarist George Harrison was killed by… BEETLES!!

Yup, you heard me right… The Beatle’s tree was killed by actual beetles.

Because he was a passionate gardener and spent his last days in Los Angeles, a George Harrison memorial pine tree was planted at the Griffith Observatory in 2001; at the time of Harrison’s death.

The memorial pine tree grew to reach over ten feet tall before a serious bark beetle infestation plagued Griffith Park last year; and wiped out Harrison’s tree.

A new young sapling has been planted in place of the memorial tree to memorialize the late Beatles star, and is marked with a small plaque at the bottom.

Bark Beetles

Bark beetles consist of some 6,000 different species of beetle that are characterized by their tendency to live, eat, and reproduce in both the living and dead tissue of trees. While some species attack and kill off living trees, the majority of bark beetle species tend to live and breed in dead, dying, or otherwise compromised trees.

While bark beetles play a role in our ecosystem, assisting in the clearing out of dead wood, most are considered notorious pests that can wipe out entire parks or even forests. They can infest in large numbers, overwhelming a tree’s defenses and kill it.

George Harrison

George Harrison (February 25, 1943 – November 29, 2001) was a world famous musician who was best known as one of the four members of the Beatles. In the group he was the lead guitarist, and contributed in writing famous songs like “Something,” and “Here Comes The Sun.”

Harrison eventually left the Beatles to pursue a solo career, and in 1988 he founded the successful group the Traveling Wilburys. At age 58 he passed away from lung cancer at the young age of 58.

Rolling Stone magazine ranks George Harrison number 11 in their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”

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Pest Of The Week: Carpet Beetles

Thirsty carpet beetle
Thirsty carpet beetle (Photo credit: servitude)

Carpet beetles are very small, round and patterned in mottled, checkerboard, or wavy lines; with black, white, gray, brown, or orange colors. These insects are often found inside homes, living under carpets and rugs, and in crevices; where hair and dead insects have accumulated.

Between late May and early August, mating occurs and the Carpet beetles lay their eggs in air ducts, in closets, under furniture; or under baseboards. Once hatched, the larvae (also known as a woolly bear), will hide in dark, undisturbed areas and feed on organic material. These tiny pests cause major concern for homeowners, when they travel from room to room, quickly infesting a home; and damaging household items.

Hungry Carpet beetles will feed on a variety of animal and plant products, and cause insect control problems for homeowners, when they damage carpets, furniture, clothing and valuable food supplies. Strong indications of a wide-spread pest control problem, include the presence of damaged household items, molted larval skins in dark areas, and an abundance of adult Carpet beetles; near windows.

To deter an invasion, homeowners should vacuum regularly, dry clean their clothing, place naphthalene balls inside closets, and remove abandoned bird and insect nests; that might be attached to the house and out-buildings.

 

The Christmas Beetle

This Holiday season, as sure as the shopping malls become packed with crazed shoppers; and as sure as young children wake way too early Christmas morning; so too will the Christmas beetle appear, on cue, in large numbers across most of Australia.

Christmas Beetles

Christmas beetles (Anoplognathus) are a classification of beetle found in Australia that consists of some 35 different beetle species from the family Scarabaeidae. These beetles are called Christmas beetles, because of their frequent emergence close to Christmas each and every year.

Why Christmas Beetles Appear At Christmas

The reason these beetles are so common around the Christmas holiday, is because of their seasonal life cycle. The beetles appear from December to January, mate, and then lay their eggs in the soil. The larvae take almost a full calendar year to develop before they emerge once again late in the year. This wave of Christmas beetle emergence can vary, depending on the climate and on the species of beetle.

What Christmas Beetles Look Like

Christmas BeetlesSince there are 35 different species of Christmas beetle, their appearance can vary greatly. Christmas beetles are known for their iridescence color, which can appear to change depending on the angle of view. Aside from being an iridescent green, they can also be dark yellow, rose, brown, and dark green. A Christmas beetle measures about an inch long on average, or approximately 20-30 millimeters.

Christmas Beetle Habits

Christmas beetles are insatiable eaters, attacking a broad range of eucalyptus and tree species. They will make zigzag patterns on the leaves as they eat, tearing up tree leaves with most of the leaf falling to the earth being wasted.

Christmas beetles can swarm, depending on the weather conditions. They are quite clumsy fliers, and are very loud while in flight and when landing. They are particularly attracted to outdoor lighting while in flight.

If you live in Australia, you are probably quite familiar with these beautiful, but sometimes annoying, beetle pests.