Rhonda Santos (508) 799-8330
USDA BEGINS FALL PILOT STUDY TO TREAT TREES AGAINST ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2009--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced a pilot study in Worcester, Mass., to determine if fall chemical treatments can be successful in helping to eradicate the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). The pilot program begins this week and will treat approximately 600 ALB-host trees within the 66 square-mile Worcester-area quarantine.
Similar to treatments in the spring, APHIS will apply the fall pilot project treatments to maple and birch trees through injections into the soil around the base of the tree or directly into the tree’s trunk in mid September and again in early November. Trees in the pilot program will be randomly assigned and receive five chemical treatments at three different times. APHIS will compare the information collected from the fall applications to its applications next spring by examining leaves for imidacloprid residue at the end of June when the beetles emerge and in late August, near the end of the ALB’s flight season.
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.
For answers about the beetle and program activities, please contact the Massachusetts ALB program at 1-866-702-9938 from anywhere in New England. Log on to www.beetlebusters.info or http://massnrc.org/pests/alb or www.aphis.usda.gov or for more information about ALB, including pictures and where to report a suspected beetle.
Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet. Go to the APHIS news release page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom. Also, anyone with an e-mail address can sign up to receive APHIS press releases automatically. Send an e-mail message to email@example.com and leave the subject blank. In the message, type