By Kathy Johnson
Extension agents and the USDA are expressing concern that the Asian long-horned beetle, (Anoplophora glabripennis) may be moving into our area. The U.S. has no known natural predators for this beetle and its expansion to our area threatens shade trees and forest resources valued at billions of dollars.
Citizens are asked to watch closely for this “death to trees” predator and make prompt reports upon seeing the beetle or signs of damage caused by the beetle. Adults are an inch to an inch-and-a-half long with antenna as long as four inches. Typical signs are emergence holes on the trunk of trees (typically round holes, smaller than a dime). Sap oozing from holes and sawdust are other indications. Most harm to trees is caused in the larval stage.
Forestry experts believe eradication efforts may still succeed, but early reports are critical in limiting the impact of damage.
The beetle is native to China, Korea and Japan and was first discovered in the U.S. in Brooklyn in 1999, apparently arriving in wooden packing material. It has since been found in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Ohio. It is believed to be causing $3.5 billion in damage per year, so far. It has also invaded Britain, Holland, Germany and Austria.