Thousands of Long Beach trees threatened by plague of beetles

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Thousands of magnolia trees in Long Beach are in danger because of beetles that have invaded the area.

Walking or driving down Magnolia Avenue in Long Beach, you're sure to notice that something is a little off.

"Sometimes when you're just walking, it kind of sticks to your shoe, and it's really like gooey," said homeowner Melissa Roxas.

The magnolia trees are dying. They're drying up and turning black.

More than 1,000 magnolias across the city of Long Beach are infested with a pest, known as the Tuliptree Scale. The pests suck up the trees sap, and in some cases, kill the trees.

Long Beach City Council members are now working to find a fix. In a meeting Tuesday, they are expected to discuss the cost to remove and replant all infected trees, what further treatment options exist, and a cost estimate for water blasting all affected sidewalks.

Neighbors say the problem has been going on for a few years.

"My husband has looked into it. He's called the city," said Roxas.

The insects also leave a sticky black film on the leaves, which gets on cars and sidewalks and is very hard to remove.
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