USDA Announces Asian Longhorned Beetle has caused tree deaths in New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio. To date, there are no known infestations of Asian longhorned beetle in Michigan. The USADA is asking residents to be on the lookout for the destructive Asian Longhorned Beetle.
The beetle was first seen in the U.S. in 1996 after it entered the country from China. It has caused losses of more than 160,000 trees.
Like the emerald ash borer, the Asian longhorned beetle spends most of its life cycle eating its way through the insides of trees. What makes this beetle much more dangerous is that it feeds on a wide variety of tree species. Its first choice is maple, but it also will infest birch, elm, willow, buckeye, horse chestnut and other hardwoods. Trees infested with Asian longhorned beetle must be destroyed to prevent the insect from spreading.
USDA warns that the beetle poses a dire threat to forests, parks and agriculture.
USDA is asking that residents keep a sharp lookout for the beetles, which are approximately 1.5 inches long not including their long antennae and shiny black, with white spots on their wing cases. They have black-and-white antennae that can be up to twice as long as their body. They have six legs that can be black or partly blue, with blue coloration sometimes extending to their feet.Adults are active from July until October.
Adult beetles are active in late summer to early fall. Female beetles chew depressions in tree trunks and branches to lay eggs. When larvae hatch, they burrow deep into the heartwood of the tree, creating large chambers in the wood. The next summer, fully formed adult beetles emerge from trees by boring perfectly round, three-eighths-inch-diameter exit holes. Sometimes a material resembling wood shavings can be seen at or below these holes or coming from cracks in an infested tree’s bark.
The Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development, Environmental Quality and Natural Resources are asking people to take just 10 minutes to check trees around homes for Asian longhorned beetle or any signs of the damage it causes.
Anyone observing an Asian longhorned beetle, or a tree that appears to have been damaged by it, is asked to report it. If possible, capture the beetle in a jar, take photos, record the location, and report it as soon as possible to the USDA at www.asianlonghornedbeetle.com or contact MDARD at (800) 292-3939 or MDAfirstname.lastname@example.org.