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Asian Longhorned Beetle: Have you seen this bug?
Written by Emma Marvin   
Friday, 05 December 2008 00:00

The Asian Longhorned Beetle is a wood boring insect that favors sugar maple as a host. Believed to have been introduced into the United States on untreated packing material from China, the beetle was first detected outside of New York City in 1996. Subsequent infestations have been identified in Chicago, New Jersey, Toronto and most recently this past fall in Worcester, Ma. To prevent the spread of this beetle we need your help!

The discoscovery of the Asian Longhorned Beetle in Worcester, Ma means the beetle has spread to the edge of the maple producing region. Particularly scary is the fact that infestations are difficult to identify early on. Eggs are laid on the trees surface and once hatched the larvae tunnel through the heartwood of the tree weakening and potentially even killing it. As an introduced exotic species there are no native predators of this beetle.  Once an infestation has been identified the only successful measure for eradication is a quarantine of the site and destruction of trees believed to be infected.

So, ultimately the best defense we have is early detection and prevention. The beetle is very distinctive - ¾" to 1 ¼" long with a black body speckled with white spots and very long black antennae banded with white stripes. Other signs of the beetle include: large round holes ~ ½" in diameter (these are how the adult insects leave the tree) generally the placement of these holes is random rather than linear.

For more information on the Asian Longhorned Beetle visit the University of Vermont website www.uvm.edu/albeetle. It has information regarding the nature of the problem, research and contacts. If you think you've seen an Asian Longhorned Beetle the national hot line contact number is 1-800-442-2342 (please be sure to note the location where you observed the possible Asian Longhorned Beetle).

And, one simple action we all can each take is to keep firewood close to home.  Firewood is a great potential harborage for the beetle and should be moved no more than 50 miles (when coming to Vermont get your firewood here rather than bringing it from home). The beetle on it's own can only move short distances - 0.5 to 1.5miles at a time.  We don't want to inadvertently help it move further faster.





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