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USDA Reminds Public: Don’t Move Wood Out of Areas Quarantined for Asian Longhorned Beetle

As colder weather approaches, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is reminding the public not to move wood out of areas quarantined for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). It is important that people follow state and federal regulations, which restricts the movement of woody material, to keep this tree-killing pest from spreading outside of quarantined areas, particularly in New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio.

“Preventing the spread of the Asian longhorned beetle to places outside of quarantined areas is critical to eliminating them from these three states, and we cannot do it without the help of residents and business owners in each state,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ National Operations Manager for the ALB Eradication Program. “As the weather gets colder and families begin using wood stoves and fireplaces, we are reminding the public to follow the regulations, especially when stocking up on firewood.” Continue reading

Establishment of more invasive species a concern for UGA experts

By Sharon Dowdy, Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

Over the next 10 years, the number of cargo containers operating out of the Port of Savannah, Georgia, is expected to double. While additional cargo means increased revenue for the state, Chuck Bargeron, associate director of the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, is concerned it could also lead to the establishment of more invasive species.

The center has identified more than 2,900 different species of wildlife, plants and insects that are present in, but not native to, North America. Many of those species come from Asia, where the ships that deliver cargo to the Port of Savannah originate. Continue reading

Eradication Program Announces 2017 Plans for Fighting the Asian Longhorned Beetle in New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (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 announcing plans for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) eradication efforts taking place in 2017.  APHIS and its partners have been making steady progress towards the eradication of this destructive tree pest since its detection in New York in 1996.

“The goal is to eliminate this non-native, tree-killing pest, from the United States,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ national operations manager for the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program.  “We are confident that we can remove the beetle using the strategies we have available to us.” Continue reading

Invasive insects turn forests into wasteland

by Michael Casey and Patrick Whittle, Associated Press

In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, it’s easy to miss one of the tree’s nemeses. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life on the underside of needles sucking sap, eventually killing the tree.

The bug is one in an expanding army of insects draining the life out of forests from New England to the West Coast. Aided by global trade, a warming climate and drought-weakened trees, the invaders have become one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the United States. Continue reading

Help Worcester County Eliminate the Asian Longhorned Beetle

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today is reminding the public of the state and federal regulations to ensure the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) does not spread to other areas from the quarantine in Worcester County, Mass.  Regulations that restrict the movement of woody material, such as firewood, reduce the likelihood of spreading the tree-killing pest.

“Preventing the spread of the Asian longhorned beetle to areas outside of the quarantine is critical to eliminating the beetle from Massachusetts, and this cannot be done without the help of property owners and business owners in the state,” said APHIS ALB Eradication Project Manager Ryan Vazquez. “Recently, we have seen tree material move outside the regulated area, and that is why we are reminding the public to adhere to the regulations, especially when stocking up on firewood for the winter.” Continue reading

Now is the time to check for Asian longhorned beetle

If you live in the Northeast, August is the time to check for Asian longhorned beetles or their distinctive holes. After first frost, any adult beetles die, but eggs and larvae may be hiding inside some of your trees waiting for next summer. USDA has eradicated several sites where the beetle was based on homeowner calls.

Read this USDA blog story for more information and for pictures of what to look for.

USDA Calls for Residents to Check Trees in August, Help Find and Eradicate the Asian Longhorned Beetle

NOTE: This pest so far is not in any states in the southern region, but several states in the Southeast have a suitable habitat for it.

August is Tree Check Month, the peak time of year when the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) can be found, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is asking residents to help eradicate this invasive pest by looking for signs in their trees. APHIS and local agricultural departments need to be made aware of any infested trees and new outbreaks so they can be quickly contained to keep the beetle from spreading.

The Asian longhorned beetle has the potential to destroy millions of acres of America’s treasured hardwoods, including maple, birch, elm, willow, ash and poplar trees, and others. The beetle is slow to spread on its own during the early stages of an infestation, so early detection and reporting is critical to containing it. People can also help by not moving firewood, which can transport the beetle hidden inside to new areas. Continue reading