Asian Longhorned Beetle

Last Modified: April 06, 2024
Balanced on an index finger the Asian longhorned beetle's face is dwarfed by its long black and white banded antenna.  The distinct bluish color on the ALB's legs and feet—a sign of a newly emerged adult.

The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is an invasive insect that attacks and kills maple and other hardwood trees. The insect grows inside trees and feeds on the living tissues that carry nutrients. Trees cannot heal from the damage ALB causes. Infested trees can become safety hazards since branches can drop and trees can fall, especially during storms.

ALB most likely came to the United States hidden inside wood packaging material from Asia long before wood packaging material regulations were enacted. ALB was first found infesting trees in Brooklyn, NY, in August 1996. APHIS is working with partners to eliminate infestations in central Long Island, NY; Worcester County, MA; Clermont County, OH; and Charleston County, SC.

ALB can attack maple and hardwood trees anywhere. Check your trees for ALB and the damage it causes. And please don't move firewood out of quarantined areas.

Here's what to look for:

  • Adult Insects (warmer months):
    • Black and white antennae that are longer than the insect’s body
    • Shiny, black body with white spots, about the size of an almond
    • Six legs and feet that can appear bluish in color
  • Tree Damage (year-round):
    • Round exit holes in tree trunks and branches about the size of a dime or smaller
    • Egg sites that are oval or round wounds chewed into the bark, and you may see sap weeping
    • Sawdust-like material called frass found on the ground around the tree or on tree branches
    • Branches or limbs falling from an otherwise healthy-looking tree
    • Tunneling in the wood may be seen on fallen branches, cut wood, or firewood
    • Leaves that may turn yellow prematurely or leaves with chewed veins

View our ALB image gallery in Flickr

You can help stop the ALB by checking trees and reporting signs early. Limiting the movement of ALB-host materials, such as firewood, keeps infestations from spreading.

Report it: If you think you found a beetle or tree damage, report it by calling the ALB hotline at 1-866-702-9938 or submitting an online report. Try to photograph the ALB or tree damage. If you can, capture the beetle in a durable container and freeze it, which helps preserve the insect for identification.

Reduce spread: If you live in an ALB quarantine area, please keep the tree-killing pest from spreading. Follow State and Federal laws. Laws limit moving tree material and untreated firewood in case ALB is inside.

Infested trees cannot be treated or saved. The only way to destroy the insect is to remove the tree and either incinerate or chip the wood.

This is why regularly checking your trees, and reporting any suspicious damage or the beetle, is so important. Early detection can save trees.

Report Signs of Asian Longhorned Beetles

If you think you've seen signs of this pest, immediately report it. Complete our online form or contact plant health officials in your State.
Find your State plant regulatory official
Find your State plant health director

Asian Longhorned Beetle Cooperative Eradication

APHIS and our State cooperators conduct surveys and eradication efforts in four States: Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina.

Quarantine Boundaries

Please see the ALB Regulated Areas Under Quarantine Information for actual road boundaries.

Quarantine Maps

APHIS takes actions to exclude and eradicate ALB as authorized by the Plant Protection Act of 2000. To stop new ALB infestations from entering the United States, APHIS regulates the import of wood packaging material, a known pathway for the insect’s movement, through Title 7, section 319.40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. All wood packaging material must be heat treated or fumigated before being imported. To further exclude the ALB, all international passenger baggage, cargo, packages, mail, and conveyances are subject to inspection when entering the country.

APHIS works closely with Federal and State officials to detect and eradicate ALB infestations. APHIS conducts surveys to:

  • Delimit the scope of the infestation
  • Establish the quarantine area
  • Determine that ALB has not spread outside the established quarantine area and, if it has, to expand the quarantine area
  • Determine when to release an area from quarantine


To declare eradication, a final round of negative survey is required, control activities and all necessary secondary surveys have also been completed. Four years is the minimum amount of time between an initial detection and a final survey cycle is completed.

Federal ALB regulations can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations: 7 CFR 301.51. You can view periodic regulatory updates by browsing the eCFR for Title 7, Subtitle B, Chapter III, Part 301, Subpart H and by viewing the Federal Orders in the section below.

Regulated Areas

Regulations areas include Worcester County, MA; Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, NY; Clermont County, OH; and Charleston and Dorchester counties, SC.

Regulated Articles

The regulated articles for ALB include the following:

  • The Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) in any living stage of development
  • Firewood from all hardwood species
  • All host material living, dead, cut, or fallen inclusive of nursery stock, logs, green lumber, stumps, roots, branches, and debris of half inch or more in diameter of the genera listed in Appendix 1

Regulated Establishments

Establishments operating in an ALB quarantine area must comply with all ALB Federal and State regulations. Regulated establishments include:

  • Landscapers
  • Tree pruning companies
  • Tree removal companies
  • Land developers
  • Firewood dealers
  • Pallet distributors
  • Nurseries
  • Sanitation workers, as well as other municipal or community services and associated contractors

Enforcement of Regulated Establishments

Regulated establishments must enter into a compliance agreement or obtain a permit from an official inspector before moving any authorized ALB regulated article out of a quarantine area. Regulated establishments are subject to penalties if they are not under compliance and do not follow ALB regulations.

Nursery stock in the regulated area is subject to inspection. Any plant material found infested with ALB must be chipped according to ALB regulations. Uninfested host material in the nursery trade is allowed to leave the regulated area if accompanied by a certification of inspection and the approved permits.

Trace Back Inspections and Trace Forward Inspections

When a new ALB infestation is confirmed, trace back inspections are conducted to determine the possible source of the infestation. These inspections will begin at the epicenter of the core area and work outward from there.

Trace forward inspections will be conducted to determine if infested host material has been moved out of the regulated area. These inspections will start with the regulated establishments located or conducting business within the regulated area. Once these establishments are identified, the survey protocols used for the High-Risk Establishment survey will apply.

Quality Assurance

Regulatory officers will spot check the removal of ALB-positive host material to ensure that contractual obligations are being met.


Asian Longhorned Beetle Activities

If you have questions about program operations in your State, call your local office.

National Policy Manager

If you have questions about national efforts to stop Asian longhorned beetles, contact the national policy manager.

Kathryn Bronsky

National Policy Manager

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