“All the trees are showing active signs of ALB infestation. Some have the perfectly round, 3/8 inch in diameter exit holes indicating that beetles have emerged this year,” said Christine Markham, APHIS’ director of the national ALB program.
Due to this find, APHIS will expand the quarantine area for ALB in Massachusetts by eight square miles. The quarantine entails treatment and inspection activities designed to control the outbreak and prevent the spread of ALB to uninfested areas. The agency regulates the movement from the quarantine zone of firewood, green lumber, nursery stock, tree limbs and other woody materials that are hosts for ALB.
Inspectors working for the ALB eradication program surveyed the area in West Boylston after an alert homeowner reported finding a beetle on their property. The infested trees will be removed as part of the ALB cooperative eradication program.
APHIS will continue to work with the state and municipalities to survey for ALB and expand the quarantine area as necessary to prevent the spread of ALB. The current 74 square mile ALB quarantine zone in Massachusetts includes areas within Worcester County, including the city of Worcester and portions of Boylston, Shrewsbury and Holden. The entire town of West Boylston is also now part of the quarantine area, which borders the towns of Auburn, Grafton, Leicester, Sterling and Milbury.
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.
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
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272, or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).