Asian Longhorned Beetle
The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) is a wood borer native to China and other Asian countries. It is believed ALB was brought from China in wood crating or pallets used to ship cargo.
At a length of more than 1 inch, and antennae longer than that, the Asian Longhorned Beetle is a large wood boring insect. The antennae of ALB have white bands and the wing covers also have white spots on them.
Asian Longhorned Beetle was first discovered in 1996 in Brooklyn, NY. Two years later a second population of ALB was found in Chicago, IL. The most recent discovery of Asian Longhorned Beetle occured in 2010 in Jamaica Plain, MA.
Due to their size, adult beetles are poor fliers, generally flying a short distance to find a new tree to infest. Once an ALB population becomes established their spread is facilitated by the human movement of infested wood or tree parts to other areas. Since its introduction to the U.S. the Asian Longhorned Beetle has caused the destruction of thousands of trees.
LIFE CYCLE OF ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE
Asian Longhorned Beetle is active from May through October, with peak activity usually occurring in July. Females chew divots into the bark of trees where they lay eggs that hatch 1 – 2 weeks later. The newly hatched larva immediately begins to tunnel into the wood of the tree, sometimes pushing coarse sawdust out of their entrance holes. The larvae overwinter in the tree and emerge as adults the following spring. It generally takes one year for the Asian Longhorned Beetle to go from an egg to an adult.
TREES ATTACKED BY ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE
Some of the common shade and ornamental landscape trees that may be attacked by Asian Longhorned Beetle includes:
SYMPTOMS OF ALB INFESTATION
Wilting foliage of dying branches, especially in the upper crown of a tree, could indicate the presence of Asian Longhorned Beetle. The tunneling activity of the beetles structurally weakens branches, which often break in the wind. ALB exit holes are large, 3/8 to 3/4 inches in diameter, and can be seen on larger tree branches or the tree trunk. Sap can sometimes be seen oozing from the exit holes. Coarse sawdust may be present on lower branches or the ground under the infested tree.
The large holes made by Asian Longhorned Beetles invite fungal infection, which may also contribute to tree decline or death.
CONTROL OF ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE
The USDA is currently managing ALB infestations by:
*Removing and chipping trees infested with Asian Longhorned Beetle. The chips are then burned.
*Insecticide trunk injections for trees surrounding epicenters of known ALB infestations.
*Establish quarantine zones to limit the spread of Asian Longhorned Beetle from human activities.
*Survey infested areas for 3 – 5 years after the last ALB or infested tree is found.
HOW TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE
1) Don’t move firewood. Purchase firewood where you intend to burn it and don’t transport leftover wood to a different location.
2) Don’t move nursery stock, wood debris, or lumber out of a quarantined area.
3) Regularly inspect your trees or have them inspected by a Certified Arborist. Most initial ALB discoveries have been made by homeowners, not arborists or insect specialists.
4) Plant trees that will not be attacked by Asian Longhorned Beetles.
5) Allow officials to inspect your trees and treat or remove infested trees on your property.
ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE IN THE U.S.
1996: Brooklyn, NY
1996: Amityville, NY
1997: Lindenhurst, NY
1998: Addison, IL
1998: Summit, IL
1998: Chicago, IL
1999: Queens, NY
1999: Manhattan, NY
1999: Park Ridge, IL
1999: Islip, NY
2000: Manhattan, NY
2000: Queens, NY
2000: Chicago, IL
2001: Manhattan, NY
2002: Manhattan, NY
2002: Jersey City, NJ
2003: Queens, NY
2004: Carteret, NJ
2004: Rahway, NJ
2004: Linden, NJ
2005: Sacramento, CA (Two adult beetles found outside a warehouse)
2007: Prall’s Island in Richmond County, NY
2007: Staten Island, NY
2008: Worcester, MA
2010: Jamaica Plain, MA