Now is the time of year to look for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), an invasive beetle that could cause serious damage to New York State’s street trees and forests.
Most infestations of forest pests are found by members of the public, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), so your help can make a difference. Good news: The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) has succeeded in eradicating the invasive beetle from Staten Island, Manhattan, Islip and Eastern Queens. If the ALB is spotted in Western New York, steps can be taken to eradicate it.
August is when Asian longhorned beetles (ALB) emerge as adults and are most active outside of their host tree.
How to identify ALB:
- ALB are about 1.5 inches long, black with white spots and have long, black-and-white antennae.
- They leave perfectly round exit holes, about the size of a dime, in branches and tree trunks.
- Sawdust-like material called frass will collect on branches and around the base of the tree.
- ALB attack a variety of hardwoods, including maples, birches and willows, among others.
If you have a pool:
DEC is asking people with swimming pools to periodically check their pool filters for insects that resemble ALB. Either email photos to the Forest Health Program at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail insects for identification to DEC’s Forest Health Diagnostics Lab Attn: Jessica Cancelliere, 108 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054.
See more on the DEC’s ALB page.
ALB is a wood boring beetle native to Asia that was accidentally introduced to the United States through wood packing materials.