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USDA Announces Plans for Eradicating Asian Longhorned Beetle in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina


Contact:
APHISpress@usda.gov

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2022 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing its plans for combatting the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) infestations in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina in 2022. Every year, APHIS evaluates and determines the most effective options to achieve ALB eradication and eliminate the pest from the United States.

“People living in and around ALB infestations are part of the eradication strategy,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ National Operations Manager for the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program. “Checking your trees for the beetle and reporting any suspicious tree damage helps us find the beetle sooner and eliminates the beetle quicker, which saves more trees.”

In 2022, the ALB program will focus on inspecting trees in quarantined areas in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina, and removing infested trees at no cost to property owners. The program will not apply insecticide treatments this year. Program officials will monitor for the beetle’s presence inside and around each infested area, respond to calls for assistance, conduct training sessions for compliance agreement holders, and perform outreach.

People living and working in quarantine zones may not move regulated items, such as firewood (all hardwood species), nursery stock, logs, branches, etc., out of the area without a compliance agreement, permit, or certificate. State and federal officials monitor the movement of wood within and around regulated areas to enforce the quarantine and may issue fines to individuals and businesses that do not comply with the regulations. A business or person wanting to move regulated articles out of the quarantine zone may: (1) enter into a compliance agreement with the program and self-issue the needed permit or certificate for those articles, or (2) request that program staff inspect the articles and directly issue the needed permit or certificate. The first option is best for regular or frequent movement of regulated articles, as it saves time and effort for all involved. The second option is best for infrequent movement of regulated articles and requires at least 2 working days of advance notice. To register for free compliance training, please call your local office:

  • In Massachusetts, call 508-852-8110.
  • In New York, call 631-288-1751.
  • In Ohio, call 513-381-7180.
  • In South Carolina, call 843-973-8329.

People who live in an ALB-quarantined area can help by:

  1. Allowing eradication program officials access to your property to inspect trees and remove any infested trees that are found.
  2. Hiring tree or landscape companies that have compliance agreements with the eradication program to ensure that woody material from your property is removed and disposed of properly.
  3. Contacting your local eradication program office or municipality for information on yard waste disposal procedures, if you need to move woody materials such as stumps, logs, brush, and twigs from your property.
  4. Not moving any infested tree materials, live trees, or nursery stock of ALB-host trees without first contacting your local eradication program office.
  5. Buying or responsibly gathering firewood where you will burn it or use certified heat-treated firewood because moving firewood can spread the beetle.

The ALB program has successfully eradicated ALB from Illinois; Boston, Massachusetts; New Jersey; Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and Islip in New York; and a portion of East Fork State Park, Stonelick and Monroe Townships in Ohio.

Currently, 288.4 square miles are under federal quarantine for ALB in the United States: 110 square miles in Worcester County, Massachusetts; 53 square miles in central Long Island, New York; 49 square miles in Clermont County, Ohio; and 76.4 square miles in Charleston and Dorchester counties, South Carolina. For more information about the beetle and program activities, please call the ALB toll-free hotline at 1-866-702-9938 or visit www.aphis.usda.gov/pests-diseases/alb.



USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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