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Be a Beetle Detective

Asian Longhorned Beetle

The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) has caused tens of thousands of hardwood trees to be destroyed in Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Trees in forests and cities all across America are at risk. But with your help, we can stop it.

What is ALB?

The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is an invasive insect that feeds on certain species of hardwood trees, eventually killing them. If the ALB were to become established here, it could become one of the most destructive and costly pests ever to enter the United States. If we don’t find and stop the ALB, we’ll lose more than trees. We’ll lose industries worth billions of dollars – and wildlife habitats too. Our yards and neighborhoods will take decades to recover.

Spot the Beetle. Stop the Beetle

One of the most important ways you can help stop the ALB is to look for it and report it. Adult beetles are most active during the summer and early fall. They can be seen on trees, branches, walls, outdoor furniture, cars, and sidewalks. While the ALB may appear threatening, it is harmless to humans and pets.

How to Identify ALB

Seeing spots? You may have ALB. The adult ALB is a distinctive-looking insect with the following unique characteristics:

  • 1 to 1 ½ inches in length
  • Long antennae banded with black and white
  • (longer than the insect’s body)
  • Shiny, jet black body with distinctive white spots
  • Six legs
  • May have blue feet

With these unique characteristics, it’s easy to identify the ALB.

Found Signs of the ALB?

If you think you’ve found an ALB or signs of infestation, always record the area where the specimen was found. If possible, capture the insects you think are ALB, place them in a jar and freeze them — this will preserve the insect for easy identification. Take digital pictures of the insect and damage to your trees. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has set up a website for you to report your finds (both positive and negative sightings encouraged): www.beetledetectives.com.
 

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