Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service

4700 River Road
Riverdale, MD 20737
Voice 301-851-4100
Web: http://www.aphis.usda.gov
News Release

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

Contact:
Rhonda Santos, (508) 852-8044
rhonda.j.santos@aphis.usda.gov
Suzanne Bond, 301-851-4070
suzanne.m.bond@aphis.usda.gov

Washington, Aug. 1, 2016 — 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 Asian longhorned beetle has the potential to destroy millions of acres of America's treasured hardwoods, including maple, birch, elm, willow, ash and poplar trees, and others. 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:

Signs of its devastation include:

What to do if you see signs of the ALB:

The Asian longhorned beetle, an invasive insect from Asia, has no natural enemies here. Since its discovery in the U.S. in 1996, 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 Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program began upon detection of the beetle in 1996 in Brooklyn, New York and is a cooperative effort between Federal and State agencies to identify and eradicate ALB infestations in the United States.  Given the ALB’s destructive potential, the goal is to eliminate beetle populations wherever they exist.  To achieve this goal, APHIS and its partners establish quarantines to restrict the movement of regulated materials, inspect ALB host trees from the ground or from the air for signs of infestation, remove infested and high-risk host trees within a quarantine area, apply a preventative systemic insecticide to non-infested host trees, and research best practices and eradication methods.  The ALB Eradication 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.

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