There are millions of killers loose in California, and eucalyptus trees are their victims. Entomologist Timothy Paine has been studying the insects killing California's menthol-scented trees for two decades — and he's noticed a suspicious pattern.
Credit Louis Vandenberg / KUCR
Entomologist Timothy Paine
Credit Zoe Corbyn / Zoe Corbyn
Entomologist Timothy Paine holds a longhorned borer. The borer was one of the early killers of California's eucalyptus trees.
Credit Zoe Corbyn/Zoe Corbyn
Timothy Paine points out a eucalyptus tree killed by an onslaught of longhorned borers. The beetles bore deep into the tree and feed on the wood.
Long before the era of post-Sept. 11 security precautions in the U.S., an unknown person or group of people may have begun carrying out a series of bioterrorism attacks in California.
The target? Menthol-scented eucalyptus trees.
Before you wonder why you hadn't heard of this, it's because the story isn't necessarily true. It's a hypothesis, a theory promoted by a noted California entomologist and eucalyptus expert named Timothy Paine.
If his theory is correct, then somebody out there wants those trees dead.