REPORT A PEST
Asian Longhorned Beetle FAQs
What Does the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) Look Like?
Adult beetles have bullet-shaped bodies ranging from 3/4 inch to 1-1/2 inches long. The body is shiny black with white spots on the back. The Asian longhorned beetle gets its name from its extremely long antennae, which are 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 times its body length and have black and white bands. The elongated feet are black with a bluish tinge. It also has a large mandible. In the larval stage, the beetles are white and worm-like.
Where was the Asian Longhorned Beetle First Found in the United States?
The first identification of Asian longhorned beetle was in Brooklyn, New York in 1996.
Where is the Asian Longhorned Beetle Currently Found in the United States?
The Asian longhorned beetle has been detected in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Ohio. It is commonly found in solid wood packing material in warehouses around the country. Infestations were eradicated in Hudson County, New Jersey and Illinois. Although the Asian longhorned beetle has not yet been found in Western states, this invasive pest poses a risk to those areas. For a map showing high risk areas, visit the Pest Tracker.
What Types of Plants Does the Asian Longhorned Beetle Infest?
Asian longhorned beetle primarily damages and kills maple trees, including boxelder, red, silver and sugar maple; birch; elm; willow; Ohio buckeye; and horse chestnut. Other possible hosts include ash and poplar trees.
What Kind of Damage Can the Asian Longhorned Beetle Cause?
Both larval and adult beetles feed on living tree tissue. Immature insects, growing inside the tree, bore through tissue that carries water from tree roots and nutrients from the leafy canopy above. Once the pest has sufficiently disrupted those pathways, the infected tree will die.
Unseasonable yellow or drooping leaves when the weather has not been especially dry are signs that Asian longhorned beetle is present. Beetles leave behind deep, perfectly round exit holes somewhat larger than the diameter of a pencil. Tree exit holes may ooze sap, and deposits of frass (insect waste and sawdust) may collect at tree trunk and tree limb bases. Egg deposit sites can be found by looking for dime-sized, dimpled impressions in tree bark. Both aerial and ground inspections may be conducted to find signs and symptoms of Asian longhorned beetle infestation.
Are Quarantine and/or Eradication in Place for the Asian Longhorned Beetle?
Quarantines are in place in various areas of Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Ohio. See a current map of infested areas at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/asian_lhb/alb_maps.shtml. Or, you can see the Pest Tracker for a general overview of the federal quarantines and high risk areas.
What Methods Are Used to Control the Asian Longhorned Beetle Population?
When an Asian longhorned beetle infestation is found, quarantine is put in place to limit the spread of the pest through human activities. Beetle discovery triggers quarantine procedures for host materials, including firewood, nursery stock, wood debris, branches, logs, stumps and lumber to contain the movement of the beetle.
At this time, the only effective means to eliminate Asian longhorned beetle is to remove and destroy infested trees. The use of insecticide has decreased beetle populations and helps prevent the spread of the beetle, but it is not fully effective. The control strategy is based on a combination of tactics, including exclusion from the United States, visual survey of U.S. host trees, infested and high-risk host tree removal, regulatory activities to help prevent human-assisted spread, outreach and education activities to promote program activities and foster early detection, and methods development to improve program delivery and efficacy. Additionally, cooperative research is ongoing in the United States and Asia to find alternatives to tree removal.
What Can We Do?
Whether you live in a quarantine zone or just want to help stop the spread of Asian longhorned beetle, there are many things you can do:
- Don't move firewood. Asian longhorned beetle larvae and adults can survive hidden in firewood. A good rule of thumb is buy local, burn local.
- Don't move any regulated material, such as firewood, nursery stock, wood debris or lumber from host trees. Be sure to follow the specific regulations in quarantined areas.
- Regularly inspect your trees. Early detection is important, so if you see any sign or symptom of an Asian longhorned beetle infestation, such as dime-sized perfectly round exit holes or excessive sawdust buildup near tree bases, report it immediately.
- When planting trees in quarantine zones, plant non-host trees. Avoid planting maple trees, including boxelder, red, silver and sugar maple; birch; elm; willow; Ohio buckeye; horse chestnut; ash; and poplar trees.
- Allow officials access to your property for inspection and, if necessary, eradication work. Eradication work could include chemical treatment or tree removal.