Eradication Program Announces 2018 Plans for Fighting the Asian Longhorned Beetle

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing 2018 Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) eradication plans. APHIS, together with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, is making steady progress towards the elimination of this destructive tree pest from the United States.

“We want to remind the public that program officials are going door-to-door conducting tree inspections in areas quarantined for the beetle,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ ALB Eradication Program national operations manager. “You can help us by allowing our program officials access to the trees on your property.”

Specially trained federal, state, and contracted crews and tree climbers will continue to inspect tree species preferred by the beetle within the quarantined areas. As infested trees are detected throughout the year, they will be removed. Program officials will not apply insecticide treatments this year because tree inspections and infested tree removals remain the priority, but they will continue to annually evaluate their use. APHIS will continue its study to see if using insecticide on trees in small, targeted areas would be another option to help eliminate the beetle. The study is taking place in Clermont County, Ohio for its third and final year. Program officials continue to monitor for the beetle’s presence inside and outside the quarantined areas, respond to service calls, conduct training sessions for compliance agreements, and perform outreach.

To avoid spreading ALB, people may not move regulated items, such as firewood (all hardwood species), nursery stock, logs, branches, etc., out of a quarantined area without a compliance agreement, permit, or certificate according to federal and state laws. If you conduct commercial work on such regulated articles in any quarantine area, you must enter into a compliance agreement with the ALB eradication program in your state. Before entering into an agreement, you will need to attend a free compliance training. To register for a training, please call:

  • 631-288-1751 if you work in New York.
  • 508-852-8110 if you work in Massachusetts.
  • 513-381-7180 if you work in Ohio.

If you live in an ALB quarantined area, you can help by:

  1. Allowing program officials access to your property to perform tree inspections and remove infested trees.
  2. Hire companies that have compliance agreements with the eradication program for working on host trees. If you need to move woody materials such as stumps, logs, brush, and twigs, please contact your local eradication program office or municipality for information on proper yard waste disposal. You should not move any infested tree materials, live trees, or nursery stock of host trees. Instead, contact your local eradication program office.
  3. Never move wood out of ALB-quarantined areas because it can spread the beetle and other tree pests and diseases.

Currently, 278 square miles are under quarantine for ALB in the United States; 111 square miles in New York, which includes the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, and a portion of central Long Island; 110 square miles in Worcester County, Massachusetts, which includes all of the City of Worcester, West Boylston, Boylston, Shrewsbury, and a portion of the Towns of Holden and Auburn; and 57 square miles in Clermont County, Ohio, including East Fork State Park, Tate Township, and a portion of Monroe Township. Infestations have been eradicated in Illinois (2008); New Jersey (2013); Manhattan (2013), Staten Island (2013), and Islip (2011) in New York; Boston (2014) in Massachusetts; and Stonelick and Batavia (2018) Townships in Ohio.

ALB is a destructive insect that causes irreversible damage to many hardwood tree species. This damage compromises the integrity of the tree and makes the tree dangerous for people to be around. If ALB were to become established in the United States, the beetle could become one of the most destructive and costly species ever to enter the country. The beetle threatens urban and suburban shade trees, recreational resources such as parks, and forest resources and wildlife. It could also harm industries such as maple syrup production, hardwood lumber processing, nurseries, and tourism. For more information about the beetle and program activities, please call the ALB toll free hotline at 1-866-702-9938 or visit www.aphis.usda.gov/pests-diseases/alb.

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