Pool owners & others: look for invasive beetle in WNY

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

The bad news is that the invasive Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) was found in six areas in the New York City region beginning in 1996. The good news is that it was eradicated in four of those areas!

The ALB hasn’t been identified in Western New York yet. But if it arrives here, we want to find it early so we can eradicate it before it damages trees.

This invasive beetle attacks and kills maples, birches, willows and other hardwoods, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC).

You can help through the DEC’s annual Asian Longhorned Beetle Swimming Pool Survey–even if you don’t have a pool.

If you have a pool, check the filter for ALB regularly and submit a report if any are found. The beetles are 1.5 inches long, have long black-and-white antennae, and have black and white spots on their body. They should not be confused with the native white-spotted pine sawyer, which has a distinctive white spot on their back, below their head. See comparisons here.

No pool? You can still help by paying attention to your trees. Be on the lookout for ALB exit holes, sawdust accumulating at the base of trees, or oozing sap or pits in bark. See photos here.

The ALB is active now through Labor Day.

If found:

  • Email photos to the Forest Health Program at foresthealth@dec.ny.gov
  • Or mail insects to DEC’s Forest Health Diagnostics Lab for identification, Attn: Jessica Cancelliere, 108 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054.

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