MAA NEWS MAA NEWS Dec 18_w - Page 10

Asian Longhorned Beetle, Ten Years Later by Joshua Bruckner, ALB Outreach Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources It has been ten years since the destructive pest known as Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis, or “ALB”) was dis- covered in Worcester, MA. Since then, significant progress has been made towards eradicating this pest. Over 36,000 trees have been removed and, more importantly, 30,000 trees have been replanted. Thanks to the efforts of the Massachusetts Asian Longhorned Beetle Cooperative Eradication Program, a partner- ship between the US Department of Agriculture (SDA), Depart- ment of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), local municipalities, and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR)), fewer and fewer infested trees are found and removed each year. The last infested tree was discovered in November 2017. Despite this trend, we cannot yet claim victory over ALB. In order for the beetle to be considered eradicated, the entire 110 square-mile regulated area around Worcester needs to be sur- veyed multiple times without finding any signs of infestation. Since ALB larvae and pupae develop inside living trees, it can be challenging to detect them until the infestation is significant enough to cause visible tree damage. This means that it is important for everyone to remain aware of the signs of ALB tree damage, including perfectly round pencil- sized exit holes on ALB host trees (including maple, birch, elm, willow, and horse chestnut). Additionally, be vigilant about acci- dental movement of the beetle through human means, most commonly through transporting firewood or other woody mate- rial that could have larvae hiding inside. Taking ALB host mate- rial outside the Regulated Area not only risks moving the beetle to new areas but violates state regulations and carries the risk of a fine. Part of the reason that the eradication process has taken so much effort is because the infestation was in progress for over a decade before it was discovered. In contrast, the Boston ALB infestation reported about two years after the beetles arrived and encom- passing only six trees, remains a pertinent example of why awareness and early detection matter. Eradication was declared there just four years after the initial report. Female Asian longhorned beetle. Note the white markings on the shiny black body and long, striped antennae. Exit holes made by emerging adult Asian longhornedbeetle. Note the perfectly round shape. The current Regulated Area, encompassing Worcester, Shrewsbury, Boylston, West Boylston, and parts of Holden and Auburn. 10 MAA NEWS / December 2018 (continued next page)