BIG BEAR LAKE (CBSLA) — An invasive pest that has infested and killed oak trees across California has been detected in the unincorporated San Bernardino County community of Sugarloaf.
The goldspotted oak borer was detected in recently-killed and dying California black oaks on private property in Sugarloaf last week, according to the officials from the San Bernardino National Forest. Larval, pupal and adult life stages of the beetle were found and extracted from the trees.
The discovery was made by a San Bernardino County Fire Hazard Officer while conducting hazard inspections, forest officials said. The pest seems to be making headway into the county, having been previously detected in Idyllwild in 2012 and the Oak Glen area in the fall of 2018.
These non-native beetles aggressively attack California black oaks, coast live oaks and canyon live oaks in mountain communities, forests, valleys or cities. The pest seem to prefer larger oaks, which are critical for wildlife habitat.
Forest officials say the goldspotted oak borer is native to Arizona and has spread to San Diego, Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles counties. They spread through the transportation of infested oak firewood.
Property owners with oak trees that have recently died and cut down were urged to make sure the wood is not infested before it is transported.