What Is This Insect?
The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) is a destructive beetle introduced from Asia, probably in wood packing material. It was first discovered in New York in 1996. Adults are usually 1-1½ inches long, shiny black with random white spots, six legs and long, jointed antennae with white bands.
Signs Of Infestation
The ALB is most active in midsummer to fall. Larva tunnel into trees, cutting off movement of water and nutrients, usually killing the tree. Asian Longhorned Beetles are known to attack species of hardwood trees, including Maple, Birch, Horse Chestnut, Poplar, Willow, Elm and Ash. Early signs of infestation include:
- Yellowing or dropping leaves
- Oozing sap
- Dime-size exit holes in trunk and limbs
- Shallow scars in the bark
- Sawdust material where branches meet other branches or at the base of the tree
- Dead limbs
A Threat To Trees
Thousands of eastern hardwood trees have been killed so far, but there is real potential for further damage, especially to valuable woodland and urban areas. A study by the USDA Forest Service determined that if the Asian Longhorned Beetle became established across the country, it would probably kill 30% of all urban trees – at a compensatory value of $669 billion.
Where Is ALB Found?
ALB is currently in select areas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. Quarantines are in place in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.
You Can Help Stop The Spread
In quarantined or regulated areas, the USDA recommends:
- Do NOT move any regulated material such as firewood, nursery stock, wood debris or lumber from host trees.
- Do NOT move firewood. Get your firewood where you plan to burn it.
- Move brush, leaves and twigs of regulated materials that are less than ½ inch in diameter to approved disposal sites. Call your State ALB Program for a disposal site near you.
- Allow officials access to your property for inspection and, if necessary, eradication work.
- ALB is difficult to control in forest situations. Individual trees can be protected with the systemic insecticide imidacloprid, applied to the soil. Follow label instructions carefully.
- BioAdvanced™ 12 Month Tree & Shrub Protect & FeedII*, which features imidacloprid, offers insect protection that lasts up to 1 year. Choose from either Concentrates or Granules, with both there’s no spraying! Simply apply it around the base of your tree for systemic protection from the roots to the tip of every leaf.
What To Do If You Think You Have Adult ALB
Be on the lookout for damaged trees and the insects themselves, especially in mid- to late summer. Report suspicious findings to the USDA at Asianlonghornedbeetle.com.
For more information, visit Asianlonghornedbeetle.com
*Not for sale in NY. Reclassified as restricted use in CT & MD.
Photo Credit: Michael Bohne, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org