Community urged to be on the lookout for signs of Asian longhorned beetle

Post date: Jul 7, 2010 1:02:59 PM

A small infestation of Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) was found in Jamaica Plain on the grounds of Faulkner Hospital. Six infested maple trees were found so far, in close proximity to each other, and have already been removed.

We want to do all we can to minimize the spread of this invasive and destructive insect, which lays eggs in most hardwood trees that then chew their way out, killing the tree. If it spreads to the Roslindale Wetlands, Arboretum, Allandale Woods, or elsewhere, it has the potential to do great harm to the green spaces we have worked hard to preserve and restore.

Community members are urged to be on the lookout for the following:

  • Adult Asian longhorned beetles (shiny black beetles with white spots and long, banded antennae)
  • ALB exit holes (dime-sized, perfectly round holes, especially in maple, but also in birch, elm, horsechestnut, willow and other hardwood trees…but not oak)
    • ALB egg-laying sites (divots in the bark ranging in size from 1/4 to 3/4 inches across – fresh pits often have oozing, foaming sap)

Anyone seeing anything suspicious should report it immediately at or toll-free: 1-866-702-9938. Take photos if you can.

A community meeting is also scheduled for Tuesday, July 13, 6-8 p.m., at the Franklin Park Golf Clubhouse.

The beetles are from China and have no predators in North America, so they spread unchecked. Neighborhoods in other cities have had to clear-cut trees over several miles to control the outbreak. Beetle larvae are spread in many ways – firewood deliveries, nursery stock, wooden shipping pallets, etc.

Photo by D. Gordon E. Robertson via Wikimedia; used by permission.