Rhonda Santos (508) 852-8044
Andrea McNally (301) 734-0602
WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2011--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced the beginning of visual survey work to determine whether Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) has been effectively eradicated from New York County, N.Y.
APHIS and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) will initiate a confirmation survey of the estimated 62,000 ALB host trees within the quarantined areas of New York County. The work is expected to continue for one year.
APHIS and NYSDAM will work with a contractor, Davey Tree Expert Company, to complete the work by performing tree climbing, bucket truck and ground-based inspections of publicly accessible trees. APHIS and NYSDAM inspectors will be conducting the inspection of privately owned, residential trees.
All contractor vehicles involved in the survey effort will have identifying signage and all inspectors, whether contractor or government, will be carrying official identification. The public can assist the eradication effort by allowing survey officials access to susceptible trees on public and private property to evaluate any signs of ALB infestation.
The ALB program is conducting this survey effort because it is required to confirm the eradication of the beetle from New York County. A confirmation of ALB eradication will lead to the removal of the county from quarantine regulation, and should result in lower costs associated with the handling and disposal of regulated host material by homeowners, landscapers, municipalities, nurseries and other green industry groups.
The ALB program is a cooperative effort among various federal, state and local agencies including, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Forest Service and Agricultural
Research Service; as well as the NYSDAM, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. APHIS and its cooperators undertake eradication by imposing quarantines, regulating the movement of ALB and ALB host material, conducting visual inspections, removing infested trees and chemically treating noninfested host trees as part of an integrated eradication strategy.
For more information regarding the survey work, call 1-718-820-1300. For information on the cooperative program in general, call in New York 1-866-265-0301 or 1-877-STOP-ALB or visit www.BeetleBusters.info for more information about ALB, including pictures and where to report a suspected beetle or suspected signs of infestation. For treatment maps, review the ALB website at www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/ asian_lhb/index.shtml and select “ALB Program Maps.”