Massachusetts
Introduced Pests Outreach Project
Pest Alert: Asian Longhorned Beetle found in California (July 2005)

Pest Alert: Asian Longhorned Beetle found in California (July 2005)

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 at http://www.massnrc.org/pests/pestFAQsheets/asianlonghorned.html. 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 website (http://www.massnrc.org/pests) for more information on emerging pests or to subscribe and unsubscribe for pest alerts.


Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources and the UMass Extension Agriculture and Landscape Program. This website was made possible, in part, by a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). It may not necessarily express APHIS' views.