Asian Longhorned Beetle


The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is a threat to America’s hardwood trees. With no current cure, early identification and eradication are critical to its control. Adult beetles have bullet-shaped bodies from ¾” to 1 ½” long. They are shiny black with white spots and long striped antennae that are up to 2 times the size of their body. Their larvae are with with yellowish broad heads. They can also be identified by the damage the cause to trees, creating dime sized holes in the bark of many species of hardwoods. It currently infests areas in Massachusetts, New York and Ohio.  The ALB has the potential to cause more damage than Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight and gypsy moths combined, destroying millions of acres of America’s treasured hardwoods, including national forests and backyard trees.


To prevent the spread of Asian longhorned beetle there are a few steps that responsible citizens can follow. A key step, especially for people in Massachusetts, is to limit the movement of wood. This means you should never bring firewood or other deadfalls from one location to another. Get all firewood locally, for even if there are no beetles visible, the infestation can still spread. Another important part of this is leaving deadfall where it lies, as removing logs, branches, and wood debris from your yard can further spread these beetles. If you see any beetles you can successfully identify as ALB, you should document and report your sightings, and then kill the bugs.