Residents Advised to Look for Asian Long-Horned Beetles

Photo courtesy of Kyle T. Ramirez

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is advising residents nationwide, and especially in states like Massachusetts, to be on the lookout for the invasive Asian long-horned beetle.

August has been deemed by the USDA as “Tree Check Month,” as the Asian long-horned beetle is known to damage wood and kill trees such as maples, birches, and elms.

The insect feeds within tree trunks and branches before finding their way out during warmer periods of the year. They create tunnels within the trees, and leave exit holes that are roughly three-fourths of an inch round.

Trees are unable to recover once they are infested by the beetle. When those trees die, their branches and the tree itself can also fall and cause damage.

The USDA is reminding residents that they can play a major role in stopping the spread of the Asian long-horned beetle. Any suspected beetle sightings should be reported with pictures, and the insect should be captured in a sturdy container if possible. Residents are instructed to freeze the container afterwards as well.

Asian long-horned beetles are usually one to one-and-a-half inches long with a black body, six legs, and antennae that are black and white.

More information on how to report Asian long-horned beetle sightings can be found by clicking here.

Additionally, people are asked to restrict the movement of untreated firewood and other wood materials, as they could be infested by the insect and lead to its spread.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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