Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Invasives: POOL Owner Citizen Science Program

Asian longhorned beetle The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has encouraged New York pool owners to participate in DEC’s annual Asian Longhorned Beetle Swimming Pool Survey during the month of August.

This is the time of year when Asian longhorned beetles (ALB) emerge as adults and are most active outside of their host tree. The goal of the survey is to look for and find these exotic, invasive beetles before these pests cause serious damage to our forests and street trees.

DEC is requesting that people with swimming pools periodically check their pool filters for any insects that resemble ALB and either email photos to [email protected] or mail insects to DEC’s Forest Health Diagnostics Lab for identification, Attn: Jessica Cancelliere, 108 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054.

People without pools can also help by learning how to recognize the beetle, as well as the signs it leaves behind:

  • ALB are about 1.5 inches long, black with white spots and have long, black and white antennae.
  • These pests leave perfectly round exit holes, about the size of a dime, in branches and tree trunks.
  • Sawdust-like material called frass will collect on branches and around the base of the tree.

ALB is a wood boring beetle native to Asia that was accidentally introduced to the United States through wood packing materials. These pests attack a variety of hardwoods, including maples, birches, and willows, among others, and have caused the death of hundreds of thousands of trees across the country. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) works to manage the ALB infestations in New York State.

For more information on ALB and the Pool Survey, visit DEC’s website.

Photo of Asian longhorned beetle by Joe Boggs, Ohio State University.

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