Pest Alert: Asian Longhorned Beetle found in California
This July two live Asian longhorned beetles were
found outside a warehouse at a former Air Force base
outside of Sacramento, California. The warehouse where
the beetles were found will be fumigated to kill any
more beetles present at the facility. The area around
the facility will be surveyed for signs of Asian longhorned
beetle damage or the beetle itself.
The Asian longhorned beetle was introduced to North
America in solid wood packing material from China.
The Asian longhorned beetle was first reported by
a resident of Brooklyn, NY in 1996. Since that time
it has been found in Chicago (1998), New Jersey (2002),
and Ontario, Canada (2003). Eradication projects are
being conducted at these locations. Eradicating the
Asian longhorned beetle may cost more than 300 million
dollars and take beyond 2009 to complete.
Prevention and early detection are important to stop
the Asian longhorned beetle from establishing in North
America. To destroy any insect present in wood packing
materials the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued
an interim rule on September 18, 1998, requiring all
solid wood packing material from China to be treated
with preservatives, heat-treated, or fumigated prior
to arrival in the United States. Effective September
16, 2005, wooden packaging materials (e.g., pallets,
crates, boxes, and dunnage) imported into the United
States must be heat treated or fumigated with methyl
bromide and marked with the International Plant Protection
Convention (IPPC) logo and appropriate country code
designating the location of treatment.
The Asian longhorned beetle is a large (1-1 ½
inches long), shiny, black beetle with white splotches
on its back. Its antennae have alternate black and
white bands and are 1 to 2 ½ times the insect’s
body length. Look for damage caused by the Asian longhorned
beetle on hardwoods including maples, horse chestnut,
willow, poplar, and elm. Exit holes created by the
beetle are approximately ½ inch in diameter
and have well-defined edges, resembling precisely
drilled holes. For pictures of the Asian longhorned
beetle and the damage it causes visit our fact sheet
If you suspect you have found an Asian longhorned
beetle, place the beetle in a container in the freezer.
If you have a suspect beetle or have seen signs of
damage resembling the Asian longhorned beetle, please
report it on-line at http://www.massnrc.org/pests/report.aspx
or call the Massachusetts Plant Pest and Noxious Weed
hotline at 617-626-1779.
The pest alert is from the Massachusetts Introduced
Pests Outreach Project, a collaborative project between
the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
and the UMass Extension Agriculture and Landscape
Program aimed at preventing the establishment of new
pathogens and pests in Massachusetts. Visit the project
for more information on emerging
pests or to subscribe
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