Keep an eye out for Asian Longhorned Beetles This Summer!

July 3, 2023

In Connecticut, we have our fair share of damaging insects to be concerned about, like spongy moth (gypsy moth), hemlock wooly adelgid, or the
emerald ash borer which proved to be devastating to our ash trees. Shortly we may be adding one more to the list, the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). The Asian longhorned beetle is an invasive insect originating from the forests of China and Korea that is devastating to trees. ALB was first found in the U.S in 1996 in New York and was most likely transported with goods coming from China and Korea that were made out of or shipped in boxes made of ALB preferred woods. Since then, there has been prominent discoveries of ALB in both New York and Massachusetts. Being that these states surround Connecticut, ALB is of concern. The beetle has not yet been found in CT however, there is a possibility it is already here. ALB tends to spread slowly and initially prefers to be in the tops of trees. Their damaging effects are also not very noticeable right away. Meaning that there could be an infestation slowly persisting for years without even knowing it. Spotting ALB is difficult because of its preferred location and its several look alike insects, such as the whitespotted sawyer.

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ALB only attacks hardwood trees, so pines, spruce, hemlocks, and other conifers are safe. Some tress they are know to attack are maples, elms, willows, birch, horeschestnuts, sycamores, and poplars. Some indicators that the tree may be infected are exits holes on the trunk, ovipostition sites, frothing sap, and frass.

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The best way to combat ALB as of now is to be watchful and careful. Spotting potentially harmful insects early helps limit the amount of damage that can be caused. Practices such as using only locally grown firewood reduces our vulnerability. All efforts help greatly. If you think you may have found the ALB, do not attempt to move the insect, or to move any wood or other potentially infested material from the site. Instead, take photos and make careful note of the location, and then get in touch with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Send an email or digital photos of suspected ALB or ALB indicators to CAES.StateEntomologist@ct.gov. The Station is responsive to emails, and they will follow up on all potential spottings.

Click here for more in depth information on ALB

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