Asian Longhorned Beetle
The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) has been discovered attacking trees in the United States. Tunneling by beetle larvae girdles tree stems and branches. Repeated attacks lead to dieback of the tree crown and, eventually, death of the tree.
ALB probably travelled to the United States inside solid wood packing material from China. The beetle has been intercepted at ports and found in warehouses throughout the United States. This beetle is a serious pest in China, where it kills hardwood trees in roadside plantings, shelterbelts, and plantations. In the United States the beetle prefers maple species (Acer spp.), including boxelder, Norway, red, silver, and sugar maples. Other preferred hosts are birches, Ohio buckeye, elms, horsechestnut, and willows. Occasional to rare hosts include ashes, European mountain ash, London planetree, mimosa, and poplars.A complete list of host trees in the United States has not been determined.
Currently, the only effective means to eliminate ALB is to remove infested trees and destroy them by chipping or burning. To prevent further spread of the insect, quarantines are established to avoid transporting infested trees and branches from the area. Early detection of infestations and rapid treatment response are crucial to successful eradication of the beetle.
The ALB has one generation per year. Adult beetles are usually present from July to October, but can be found later in the fall if temperatures are warm. Adults usually stay on the trees from which they emerged or they may disperse short distances to a new host to feed and reproduce. Each female usually lays 35-90 eggs during her lifetime. Some are capable of laying more than that. The eggs hatch in 10-15 days. The larvae feed under the bark in the living tissue of the tree for a period of time and then bore deep into the wood where they pupate. The adults emerge from pupation sites by boring a tunnel in the wood and creating a round exit hole in the tree.
The Asian Longhorn Beetles emerge in the beginning of July, but they are feast and grow all winter long. They tend to attack the same tree over and over again and the structure becomes compromised. Once a tree is infested, there is no cure.