Locals are being warned following recent reports of scammers using the shot-hole borer beetle as a front to cut down trees unnecessarily in exchange for money. An infestation of this highly invasive beetle species has been wreaking havoc the Cape in recent months. This has been an ever-increasing problem since the discovery of an infestation in Somerset West in March this year.
Forty-six trees have since been removed from the area in an attempt to contain and limit the spread of the invasive species, and residents have been urged to report sightings.
Officials from the City’s Invasive Species Unit and an arborist at the City Parks and Recreation Department will conduct an investigations after sightings are reported, but criminals are now taking advantage of unsuspecting residents.
As locals are concerned about the trees in the Western Cape, some dishonest individuals have been telling homeowners that their trees are infested to make money whether the trees are truly infested or not.
Ecological farmer, Paul Barker spoke to CapeTalk, urging residents to be aware and always get a second opinion on their trees in light of this recent scam.
Locals are also being urged to take the names and details of all people who claim their tree are falsey infested to report to SAPS, as well as the City’s invasive species unit.