Suzanne Bond (301) 734-5175
USDA TREATS NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY TREES AGAINST INVASIVE ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE
WASHINGTON, April 7, 2009--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is treating 66,854 trees susceptible to the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) with the insecticide imidacloprid in New York and New Jersey this spring.
The 2009 ALB treatment program will begin March 31on 26,132 hardwood trees susceptible to the invasive insect in Staten Island, N.Y. Treatments there will end by May 9. In Brooklyn and Queens, N.Y., APHIS will conduct treatments on 39,626 trees from April 6 through June 20. Finally, the treatment program on 1,096 hardwood trees in Linden, N.J. will take place from April 27 through May 9.
APHIS will monitor all of the treatments, which are conducted by contracted, certified pesticide applicators only on trees susceptible to ALB (known as ALB host trees). Officials will primarily use a trunk-injection method with a hand-held application device in New Jersey and Staten Island, while trees in Brooklyn and Queens will be treated primarily by injecting imidacloprid into the soil around the base of trees.
Potentially, ALB is one of the most destructive and costly invasive species to enter the United States. These insects threaten urban and suburban shade trees and recreational and forest resources valued at hundreds of billions of dollars. The beetle also could impact such industries as maple syrup production and hardwood lumber processing, nurseries and tourism.
APHIS and its cooperators undertake eradication by imposing quarantines, conducting visual inspections around confirmed sites to determine the scope of infestations, removing infested and high-risk exposed trees and chemically treating host trees as part of an area wide integrated pest eradication strategy. The goal is to eliminate this destructive insect from New York City, Long Island, New Jersey and Massachusetts before it can establish itself elsewhere.
The public can assist the eradication effort by allowing program officials access to their property to evaluate susceptible trees for any signs of ALB infestation and/or to treat trees that are susceptible to beetle infestation.
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