Rhonda Santos (508) 852-8044
Suzanne Bond (301) 734-5175
WASHINGTON, March 24, 2011 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will treat a total of 29,764 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 4, weather permitting, on 21,294 trees in Queens, 299 trees in Brooklyn and on 8,171 trees in Staten Island. Treatments are a vital component of the area-wide eradication strategies used to prevent further infestation and reduce populations of this invasive pest.
Control treatment applications are conducted by program officials, through the use of contracted New York licensed pesticide applicators. ALB host trees are treated by directly injecting the insecticide into the soil around the base of the tree, or into the trunk of the tree, allowing the imidacloprid to be dispersed through the tree's vascular system. This enables the insecticide to reach ALB adults feeding on small twigs and leaves, and larvae feeding just beneath the bark of treated host trees.
Imidacloprid is a registered pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. 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. APHIS oversees treatment applications and conducts environmental monitoring as part of the ALB eradication program.
The public can assist the eradication effort by allowing program 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. Control treatments are applied to noninfested ALB host trees. All ALB infested trees or trees showing signs of infestation must be removed and destroyed in order to eliminate the ALB infestation. This action applies to treated trees as well.
ALB threatens urban and suburban trees, as well as valued forest resources, and threatens such industries as maple syrup production, hardwood lumber processing, nurseries and tourism. Control treatments are part of the ALB cooperative eradication program's effort to prevent further infestation of this invasive insect and reduce populations.
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.
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 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 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.”
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 www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom and click on the RSS feed link.
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