USDA Calls for Residents to Check Trees in August, Help Find and Eradicate the Asian Longhorned Beetle

August is a Prime Time to Spot and Report Beetles

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AsianLonghornedBeetle–August is Tree Check Month, the peak time of year when the Asian
longhorned beetle (ALB) can be found, and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is
asking residents to help eradicate this invasive pest by looking for
signs in their trees. APHIS and local agricultural departments need to
be made aware of any infested trees and new outbreaks, so they can be
quickly contained to keep the beetle from spreading.


The ALB has the potential to destroy millions of acres of America’s
treasured hardwoods, including maple, birch, elm, willow, ash and poplar
trees. The beetle is slow to spread on its own during the early stages
of an infestation, so early detection and reporting is critical to
containing it. People can also help by not moving firewood, which can
transport the beetle hidden inside to new areas.

“We’re asking everyone to take 10 minutes and go outside and inspect
their trees,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ national operations manager for
the ALB eradication program. “New Asian longhorned beetles typically
emerge from trees in August, so if you see any signs, report them
immediately. It’s possible to eradicate this destructive pest, but we
need the public’s help to be successful.”

The Asian longhorned beetle has distinctive markings that are easy to
recognize:

  • Long antennae with black and white bands, longer than the insect’s
    body.
  • A shiny, jet-black body, about 1” to 1 ½” long, with white spots.
  • Six legs with possible bluish-colored feet.

Signs of its devastation include:

  • Round exit holes, dime size or smaller, in tree trunks and branches.
  • Shallow oval or round scars in the bark, where the adult beetle has
    chewed an egg site.
  • Sawdust-like material on the ground around the tree or in the branches.
  • Dead branches or limbs falling from an otherwise healthy-looking tree.

What to do if you see signs of the ALB:

  • Make note of what you found, where you saw it and take a photo, if
    possible.
  • Try to place the beetle in a container and freeze it for easy
    identification by the USDA.
  • Report findings by calling 1-866-702-9938 or completing the online
    form.

The Asian longhorned beetle, an invasive insect from Asia, has no
natural enemies here. It has led to the loss of more than 160,000 trees
in forests, parks and neighborhoods. Once infested, trees will die and
need to be removed.

The ALB Eradication Program began upon detection of the beetle in 1996
in Brooklyn, N.Y., and is a cooperative effort between Federal and State
agencies to identify and eradicate ALB infestations in the U.S. To date,
the Program has eliminated infestations in Illinois, New Jersey, New
York (Manhattan, Staten Island and Islip) and Boston. Current beetle
infestations are being fought in Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk
Counties, N.Y., Clermont County, Ohio, and Worcester County, Mass.

For more information about the Asian longhorned beetle, ways to keep it
from spreading and eradication program activities, visit www.AsianLonghornedBeetle.com
and www.HungryPests.com.
For local inquiries or to be forwarded to your State Plant Health
Director, call 1-866-702-9938.

Contacts

USDA-APHIS
Rhonda Santos, 508-852-8044
rhonda.j.santos@aphis.usda.gov
or
Suzanne
Bond, 301-851-4070
suzanne.m.bond@aphis.usda.gov