The Asian Longhorned Beetle has destroyed tens of thousands of hardwood trees in the United States, but luckily not a single one in Indiana. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that these killer beetles aren't headed our way.
Asian Longhorned Beetles
The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) may be one of the more invasive species of concern in the United States. This pest most likely arrived in the States inside solid wood packing material shipped from China and other area of the Far East where it is a native species. Since its discovery, infestations have been reported in four states - New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Illinois - with more possible infestations yet detected. Several more states have sighted ALBs in warehouses including Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.
ALBs prefer hardwood trees, particularly maple, birch, willow and elm. Eggs are laid within the tree with the larvae tunneling its way though the tree eventually killing it. Signs of infestation include dime-sized exit holes; trunks riddled with exit holes; sawdust-like material known as frass under exit holes; yellow or drooping leaves and dead branched. Adults usually stay on the trees from which they emerged or may disperse short distances to a new host to feed and reproduce in. Adult beetles are usually present from July to October, but can be found later in the fall if temperatures are warm.
The Asian Longhorned Beetle, if not contained, can wreak havoc on our fragile natural areas. Unlike other non-native species that have a strong foothold in our state, we have a unique opportunity to prevent its spread before it’s too late. Come next summer, get ready to be a super ace beetle detective. Til then, learn what you can do to help stop a full-blown invasion of this unwanted pest in Indiana.
How to 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
What You Can Do
This summer the United States Department of Agriculture and The Nature Conservancy is asking Hoosiers for their help to determine if this damaging forest pest had made its way inside our borders. By learning how to identify these beetles and recognizing when a tree could be infested, it would be a great help to the state. Learn more on how to be a beetle detective at www.beetledetectives.com. Participate by completing a survey and get a free gift!