Pool owners: watch for invasive beetle in WNY

Asian longhorned beetle in pool
Check you pool filter periodically for the invasive beetle called Asian longhorned beetle. Photo courtesy Jessica Cancelliere of NYSDEC Forest Health Program

A destructive insect called the Asian longhorned beetle has been found–and eradicated– in downstate counties with the help of citizens.

You can help here in Western New York, too.

Watch for Asian longhorned beetles so that if they arrive here, we can detect them early and keep them from damaging our street trees and forests.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is holding its annual Asian Longhorned Beetle Swimming Pool Survey.

What to look for with Asian longhorned beetles

During late summer, Asian longhorned beetles (ALB) emerge as adults and are active outside of their host tree.

From now until swimming pools are closed for the season, pool owners are asked to periodically check their filters for insects that resemble Asian longhorned beetles.

People without swimming pools can help the effort by reporting signs of ALB in their communities. The ALB:

  • Is about 1.5 inches long, black with white spots, and has black-and-white antennae
  • Leaves perfectly round exit holes about the size of a dime in branches and trunks of host trees
  • Creates sawdust-like material called frass that collects on branches and around the base of trees

See more about the ALB here.

Report sitings of ALB

Report beetles you think are ALB either by emailing photos to foresthealth@dec.ny.gov or mailing insects to DEC’s Forest Health Diagnostics Lab at 108 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054, Attn: Liam Somers.

See more about reporting here.

These pests attack a variety of hardwoods, including maples, birches, and willows, among others, and have caused the death of hundreds of thousands of trees across the country.

The State Department of Agriculture and Markets has worked diligently to manage ALB infestations in New York, successfully eradicating them from Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, Islip, and Queens. The beetle is still actively managed in central Long Island, and there are active infestations in Massachusetts, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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