Help save trees when you clean your pool filter– look for invasive beetles

Asian longhorned beetle. Photo courtesy Jessica Cancelliere of NYSDEC Forest Health Program
Asian longhorned beetle. Photo courtesy Jessica Cancelliere of NYSDEC Forest Health Program

While you’re cleaning your pool filter, look for Asian longhorned beetles, an invasive species that can cause serious damage to our trees including the sugar maple.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking help from pool owners during its second annual Asian longhorned beetle Swimming Pool Survey taking place now through Aug. 30.

Even if you don’t have a pool, you can submit photos of suspected Asian longhorned beetles to

This is the time of year when Asian longhorned beetles become adults, emerge from the trees they are infesting and become active outside those trees. With citizens involved in looking for this pest, there is a better chance of finding new infestations early, which will help DEC and other state and federal agencies focus their efforts to eliminate infestations.

Asian longhorned beetles are originally from Asia and have killed hundreds of thousands of trees across the nation, particularly maple trees in New York City; Long Island; New Jersey; Chicago, Ill.; Worcester, Mass., and Clermont, Ohio.

They haven’t yet been spotted in Western New York.

To participate in the Swimming Pool Survey, contact Jessica Cancelliere at the New York State DEC Forest Health Program at (518) 810-1609 or and she will provide you with a a sheet to help you identify the insects you collect. You can also see pictures of the pest at the DEC site or at the US Department of Agriculture’s site. 

Then at least once a week, or when you clean your pool, check the debris collected in your filter and skimmers for the Asian longhorned beetle. Take a picture of any insect you think might be an Asian longhorned beetle. Once a week choose the insect that looks most like an Asian longhorned beetle and email a photo of it to (DEC would like to hear from you once a week.)

Freeze the insect in a plastic container until DEC staff respond (typically that will be about a week). Staff will either instruct you to discard the insect or give instructions on mailing it, delivering it or arranging for pickup.

Help our trees by being on the lookout for Asian longhorned beetles and participating in the DEC survey.

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