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USDA TREATS NEW YORK TREES AGAINST ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE

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Contact:
Rhonda Santos (508) 799-8330
Andrea McNally (301) 734-0602



WASHINGTON, April 5, 2010 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will treat a total of 39,195 trees susceptible to the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) with the insecticide imidacloprid in New York this spring.

Control treatments will start the week of April 5, weather permitting, on 28,388 trees in Queens, 3,007 trees in Brooklyn and 7,800 trees in Staten Island. These treatments are a vital component of the area-wide eradication strategies used to prevent further infestation and reduce populations of this invasive pest.

Program officials, through the use of contracted certified pesticide applicators, will treat ALB-host trees by directly injecting the insecticide into the soil around the base of the tree, or into the trunk of the tree using hand-held application devices. Regardless of the treatment application, the imidacloprid is dispersed through the tree's vascular system. This enables the insecticide to reach ALB adults feeding on small twigs and leaves and any larvae feeding just beneath the bark of host trees.

Imidacloprid is a registered pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). It is used in agriculture, the lawn care industry to kill lawn grubs and in some pet treatments to kill fleas. Approved for ALB program use, imidacloprid is applied each year for ALB eradication to a limited area in the United States.

The public can assist the eradication effort by allowing project officials access to their property to evaluate susceptible trees for any signs of ALB infestation and/or to treat trees that are susceptible to ALB infestation.

APHIS and its cooperators undertake eradication by imposing quarantines, conducting visual inspections, removing infested trees and chemically treating noninfested host trees as part of an integrated eradication strategy.

ALB has the potential to be 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 ALB also might impact such industries as maple syrup production, hardwood lumber processing, nurseries and tourism. Treatments are part of the ALB cooperative eradication program's effort to eliminate this invasive insect before it can establish itself elsewhere.

The ALB program is a cooperative effort among various federal, state and local agencies including, USDA's APHIS, Forest Service and Agricultural Research Service; as well as the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York State Department of

Environmental Conservation and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information on the treatment program, call in New York 1-866-265-0301 or 1-877-STOP-ALB.

For more information about the ALB cooperative eradication program, log on to www.aphis.usda.gov, or visit www.beetlebusters.info, for information about ALB, including pictures and where to report a suspected beetle. For treatment maps, review the ALB Web site at www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info
/asian_lhb/index.shtml
and select “ Quarantine and Treatment Maps” within the maps section.

Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet and through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. Go to the APHIS news release page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom and click on the RSS feed link. To sign up to receive APHIS releases automatically, send an e-mail message to lyris@mdrdlyriss10.aphis.usda.gov and leave the subject blank. In the message, type
subscribe press_releases.

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(800) 795-3272, or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).



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