Invasive insect found in Christmas decorations in Wisconsin shows up in South Dakota

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Agriculture officials say an invasive insect found in evergreen decorations in Minnesota and Wisconsin has shown up in South Dakota.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture is encouraging residents who bought wreaths and other evergreens from chain stores to bag the items and dispose of them in a landfill in order to stop the spread of the insect known as elongate hemlock scale, or EHS.

State forester Greg Josten says the insect has been found on greenery, but not on Christmas trees.

The principal host for the insect is the eastern hemlock, a rare tree in South Dakota. But, it can also attack spruce trees, which are a native, common tree in the Black Hills.