BUGGED, a new documentary directed by Fitchburg native Emily Driscoll, follows scientists, government officials and private citizens who are the front lines in the Asian longhorned beetle eradication war.

The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is one of the world’s worst alien invasive species and could destroy one third of America’s trees. Damage could exceed half a trillion dollars in direct costs to logging industries, building trades, home industries, tourism and the environment. Now, for the first time, the ALB infests a city on the edge of one of America’s greatest natural forested areas.

BUGGED highlights the vigilance and aggressive teamwork necessary to identify and eradicate the Asian longhorned beetle. Learn how mysterious markings on Brooklyn trees led landlord Ingram Carner to discover the alien invader. Find out how Richard Hoebeke, scientist and “bug detective” at Cornell University, identified the specimen as the Asian longhorned beetle. Walk through dying trees in Worcester, MA with Clint McFarland from the USDA. Finally, learn how scientists, government officials, and private citizens collaborate and strategize to fight the beetle and prevent future infestations.

Asian longhorned beetles tunnel through wood, slowly killing trees from the inside out. Because the beetles live inside of trees, identifying infestations has proven difficult. In each reported infestation, trees had been infested for a decade before the beetles were found. The ALB’s tunnels slice through a tree’s vascular system, cutting off its flow of nutrients. BUGGED features a never-before-published CT scan of ALB infested wood, showing a tree’s damage from its interior.

The new global economy results in the unintended transport of exotic animals, plants and insects. Invasive species already cost the U.S. over $100 billion per year and are nearly impossible to eradicate as they invade the environment. The ALB is no exception, hitchhiking from China to U.S. ports in wood packing crates and pallets.

Bugged will be available June 18, 2010. For more information, visit http://www.buggeddocumentary.com <http://www.buggeddocumentary.com/>  Spot the beetle? Visit http://www.beetlebusters.info <http://www.beetlebusters.info/>

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