Beetle Blight

Beetle Blight

Affliction Appearance

The first breeding populations of Asian long-horned beetles (Anoplophora glabripennis or ALB) was discovered in 1996 in New York.  This incredibly invasive and destructive species was accidentally introduced through shipping cargo from Asia.  While three states, Massachusetts, New York and Ohio, are under federal quarantine, suitable habitat is found in almost every state. Federal quarantine, developed and enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) implements regulated boundaries for infected areas to safeguard agricultural and natural resources from the entry, establishment and spread of these pests. Control methods employed thus far consist of cutting down infected specimens and surrounding susceptible species, infected trees are chipped and incinerated. Areas identified as “suitable habitat” means that there are plants, trees or crops which will allow year round survival of the species. Annual surveys take place and strict monitoring is employed to keep track of and contain this detrimental pest. To see current and historical maps of afflicted regions visit:

Pernicious Pest

Public assistance has been crucial in confirming the presence or absence of ALB in sensitive areas, learning to identify this species and reporting possible sightings can help prevent further damage to important agricultural and natural resources including the maple syrup industry, lumber and tourism. These are boring beetles, the larvae spend a damaging year inside the tree before emerging as the iconic black and white beetle, making detection and control even more difficult. The USDA is working on a device that would detect the munching sounds of larvae within the tree, but until then we must rely on tell tale signs of infestation identification and report of adults.

Adult beetles are 3/4" to 1 1/2" long with bullet shaped bodies spotted with black and white. The antennae are banded black and white and will be 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 times the length of the body.

Adult beetles are 3/4″ to 1 1/2″ long with bullet shaped bodies spotted with black and white. The antennae are banded black and white and will be 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 times the length of the body.

Asian Longhorned Beetle damage

To identify possible infestation in a tree, look for a series of chewed, round depressions in bark, pencil-sized, almost perfectly round tree exit holes, sawdust or “frass” around the base of a tree and/or yellow, unseasonably dropping leaves.












Asian long-horned beetles prey on hardwood species and are most commonly found in maples including boxelder, red and silver species, birch, elm, willow, Ohio buckeye, horse chestnut, ash and poplar.

How to Help

Learning to identify ALB, signs of infestation and reporting it to is the number one way to assist in controlling the destruction.  Other things to keep in mind include not moving firewood; “Buy local, burn local”, other regulated material that shouldn’t be moved interstate include; nursery stock, wood debris and lumber, inspect your trees and report signs or symptoms immediately, if you are within or near a quarantine zone plant only non-host species and allow authorized workers access to your property for inspection, monitoring and installation of insect traps.