CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- They are tiny, but don't let that fool you. The Emerald Ash Borer has already destroyed hundreds of thousands of ash trees in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Now tree experts say they are just outside of Charlotte and residents need to be ready to battle.

First spotted over a decade ago, the Asian beetles are now coming to the Carolinas.  Tree expects say it's not a matter of if they will arrive in Charlotte, but when.

"You will either do something about it, or you'll be forced to remove the trees," said Patrick George, owner of Heartwood Tree Service. "Once they're in, that's it."

George says once you see the beetles, they've already eaten the insides of ash trees, killing them.

Heartwood plans to “adopt” some ash trees inside Freedom Park and next week.  George's team will inject  trees with a pesticide that will protect them for up to three years.

"That will translocate the chemical through the tree to the leaves. When the adults come to feed then they will ingest and will die," George explained.

Heartwood says the pesticide will cost homeowners a fraction of what tree removal usually costs.