WASHINGTON–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – August is the most critical time of year to spot the Asian Longhorn Beetle (ALB) when adult activity peaks. This is why the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) declares August “tree control month” for this invasive pest. By checking trees for the beetle and the damage it causes, residents can help USDA and its partners eliminate the beetle from the United States and protect more trees. This invasive pest continues to be found in Ohio, so residents should be vigilant. Part of Clermont County remains under federal quarantine for the pest, and movement of timber out of the area is not allowed.
However, residents of all states should keep an eye out for any further incursion.
“We are asking for the public’s help in finding the Asian longhorn beetle and all the damage it causes to trees, because the sooner we know where the insect is, the sooner we can stop its spread,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS country operations manager for the ALB eradication program. “Just last year, an owner in South Carolina reported finding a beetle in his garden, which led us to discover a active infestation in state where we did not know the beetle was.
ALB is an invasive wood-boring beetle that attacks 12 types of hardwoods in North America, such as maples, elms, males, birches, and willows. Infested trees do not recover and eventually die. Infested trees also become safety hazards as branches can fall and trees can fall, especially during storms. In the larval stage, the insect feeds inside the trunks and branches of trees, creating tunnels as it feeds, and then the adults make their way through the warmer months, leaving approximately 3/4 inch round exit holes.
The adult beetle has distinctive markings that are easy to recognize:
A shiny black body with white markings approximately 1 “to 1 1/2” long.
Black and white antennae longer than the body of the insect.
Six legs and feet which may appear bluish in color.
Signs that a tree may be infested include:
Round exit holes in tree trunks and branches the size of a dime or less.
Egg sites that are shallow, oval, or round sores in the bark where sap can ooze.
Sawdust-like material called droppings found on the ground around the tree or on branches.
Branches or branches falling from a healthy looking tree.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
The public has a vital role to play in helping to stop the spread of ALB and remove it from infested areas.
Report it: If you believe you have found a beetle or damaged tree, report it by calling the ALB helpline at 1-866-702-9938 or submitting a report online at www.AsianLonghornedBeetle.com. Try to photograph ALB or damage to the tree. If you can, capture the beetle in a durable container and freeze it, which helps preserve the insect for identification. Then report it.
Reduce the spread: If you live in an ALB quarantine area, please prevent the spread of the killer tree pest. Follow state and federal laws, which restrict the movement of woody material and untreated firewood that could be infested.
It is possible to eradicate the pest. The USDA and its partners have eradicated the insect from Illinois, Boston in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and parts of New York and Ohio.
For more information on ALB and eradication efforts, visit www.AsianLonghornedBeetle.com. For local inquiries or to speak to your USDA Plant Health Director, call 1-866-702-9938.
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