Asian Longhorned Beetle
Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB)
What is the Asian longhorned beetle?
photo by: Joe Boggs, Ohio State University
The Asian longhorned beetle, or ALB, is an invasive wood-boring insect that feeds on a variety of hardwoods including maple, birch, elm, ash, poplar, horsechestnut, and willow, among others. Native to China and Korea, the beetles are approximately 1.5 inches long and shiny black, with white spots on their wing cases. They have black and white antennae that can be up to twice as long as their body. View the ALB fact sheet. (PDF, 500 KB)
Where are ALB located?
In 1996, ALB were found infesting Norway maple trees in Brooklyn. Larvae and pupae likely hitchhiked from China in wooden packing material and the adult beetles emerged after the materials reached the New York Harbor. Additional infestations were later discovered in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Islip and central Long Island. To date, the Manhattan, eastern Queens, Staten Island, and Islip infestation sites have been eradicated.
What are the signs of an infestation?
Trees being attacked by ALB often have wilted foliage and canopy dieback, but the main signs to look for include:
Round, ½ inch depressions (egg-laying sites) in the outer bark.
Sap oozing from egg-laying sites and exit holes.
Deep exit holes, insert a pencil to determine if the hole is at least an inch deep.
Sawdust, or frass, collecting at the base of the tree or on branches.
(photo credit, from left to right: photos 1 & 2 by Dennis Haugen, USDA Forest Service; Joe Boggs, Ohio State University; Robert A. Haack, USDA Forest Service)
What do they do to trees?
Females often chew depressions in the bark where they deposit one to two eggs at a time, laying up to sixty eggs on average. After they hatch, the larvae bore into the tree and begin feeding on the living tissue just underneath the bark which disrupts the nutrient and water flow within the tree. The larvae then continue deep into the heartwood where they continue to feed until they are ready to pupate. Repeated attacks from scores of larvae, generation after generation, eventually girdles the tree and kills it. Tree death usually occurs 7-9 years after the initial infestation, depending on site conditions and the tree's overall health.
What is the risk to NYS?
Since maples are a preferred host for ALB, the spread of the beetle into the rest of the state would mean devastating impacts to the maple syrup industry through the loss of healthy sugar bush. Maples are also a valuable hardwood for furniture, flooring, and other uses. Larval galleries through the heartwood may degrade the wood enough to make it useless for milling, costing the forest products industry billions of dollars. The larval galleries also compromise the structural integrity of the tree resulting in falling limbs and trunks under heavy rain, snow or wind pressure. Removing these hazard trees in parks and towns would be expensive and have serious impacts on property values and tourism.
What is being done?
International standards have been set that require wooden packing materials to be chemically treated or kiln dried to help stop new introductions from occurring.
Quarantines have been established around infested areas to prevent the movement of infested materials.
The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets has taken the lead on surveying for infested trees, tree removal and tree treatment to eradicate the ALB populations in New York City and on Long Island.
What can I do?
Adhere to the NYS firewood regulation which limits untreated firewood movement to no more than 50 miles and obey the rules of the ALB quarantines which prevent firewood and any regulated materials from leaving those areas. See NYS Agriculture and Markets website (leaves DEC website) for more information.
If you have a pool, you can participate in the ALB Swimming Pool Survey. Whenever you clean your pool, check your filter and skimmers for anything that resembles ALB. Send a photo of what you find to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you believe you have found ALB…
Take pictures of the infestation signs as described above (include something for scale such as a coin or ruler).
Note the location (intersecting roads, landmarks or GPS coordinates).
Contact DEC Forest Health (see below) or your local Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) by visiting New York Invasive Species Information website (leaves DEC website)
Call the ALB tip line at 1-866-702-9938
Report the infestation to iMapInvasives (leaves DEC website)
More about Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB):
Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) - Pool Survey - This page discusses the citizen pool survey program to monitor Asian Longhorned Beetle populations.
ALB Locations Map - Map showing asian longhorned beetle infestations in the US.
ALB Compared to the Whitespotted Pine Sawyer - Although similar, the whitespotted pine sawyer has a white spot at the top center of its wing covers that the Asian longhorned beetle lacks.
https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7255.html – New York State DEC ~ Asian Longhorned Beetle
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Award Winning Photo
Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District's Conservation Educator Caitlin Stewart received first place for the National Association of Conservation Districts' annual photo contest. She placed first in the Conservation in Action category for her photo titled “Asian longhorn beetle masquerade”. The photo shows students at Lake Pleasant Central School wearing masks they created while learning about invasive insects.
Caitlin Stewart said she was honored to receive the award, and added “The photo brings a smile to my face because it captured kids learning about invasive insects while showing off masks they created. These young people are the future stewards of our environment, and that future is so bright!”
Local News MAR 20th
Hamilton County Express – 03/21/2019
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