What is the Asian Longhorned Beetle, and why is it important?
|Image source: nature.org|
How does ALB affect a tree?
|Image source: treeservicesmagazine.com|
How can I tell if my tree has ALB?
|Image source: arinvasives.org|
What can be done for an ALB-infested tree?
Unfortunately, not much. It is very difficult for insecticides to reach the larvae once they make it into the heartwood of the tree. The best response is to cut down the tree and destroy it to ensure that no eggs, larvae, pupae, or adults survive to attack another tree. Since treatment isn't an option, the best course of action is to make sure your trees are healthy (stressed trees are always more vulnerable to insect and disease invaders than healthy trees) and to spread the word to make sure everyone is on the lookout for this dangerous beetle.
What is being done to keep ALB out?
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the USDA is on red alert to prevent the beetle from making it here in the first place whenever possible. Wood packing materials coming from Asia are now subject to new regulations to ensure that no living things are present before they are shipped to the U.S. Travelers coming from regions where ALB lives have their luggage inspected if they are carrying any plant material (already standard practice to catch a whole range of potentially dangerous species). Any piece of cargo that is suspected of carrying ALB is immediately quarantined, and the area is searched in case any escaped. APHIS is doing what they can to prevent another outbreak, however it's impossible to be 100% effective. That's why it's so important that average citizens like you and me are informed an on the lookout. If you think you see ALB, it is important that you report it immediately. Here in Indiana you can call the Indiana Department of Natural Resources on their toll-free line: 1-866-663-9684 (1-886-NO-EXOTIC)
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