Invasive beetle costs big money

By Chris Williams on February 2, 2013.

asian long horned beetleAsian Longhorned Beetle (ALB, Anoplophora glabripennis) is an exotic species of wood boring beetle that attacks a wide variety of native hardwood tree species in the US. It is believed to have been accidently introduced into the United States from wooden packing material (crates, pallets etc.) in ships carrying freight from Asia.

First detected in Brooklyn, New York during the mid-1990s’, populations of ALB were later discovered in Chicago (late 90’s). During the early to mid 2000’s, the beetle was also discovered in three separate counties in New Jersey. In 2008, this beetle was found right in our own back yard of Worcester county and then Suffolk county in 2010.

Because of the potential devastating effects to our native hardwood species should ALB ever get a solid foot hold in the United States, control measures are drastic. Quarantine areas are established, (regulatory controls) and infested trees are removed, chipped and then burned. In all, it is estimated that about 72,000 trees have been destroyed between all the quarantine zones where ALB has been discovered.

Needless to say, the costs associated with eradicating ALB from the US continue to add up. Just recently you may have seen that 3 million dollars has been granted by the state of Massachusetts to help Worcester re-plant the 30,000 trees that were destroyed during the recent Asian Longhorned beetle infestation.

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