Sunday, August 2, 2020

DEC Seeks Swimming Pool Owners for Citizen Science Survey of Invasive Beetle

The early discovery of Asian Long Horned Beetle infestations saves money and trees.

State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is encouraging the citizens of New York, especially those that own swimming pools, to engage in the DEC’s Annual Asian Long horned beetle Swimming Pool Survey.

Asian long horned beetles (ALB) emerge as adults during the late summer and become the most active outside of their host trees. The goal of this survey is to pinpoint the locations of these infestations before they cause detrimental damage to our state’s forests and trees.

The DEC requests that swimming pool owners check their pool filters for insects that match the description of ALB and report suspects by emailing photos to, or by mailing the actual insects to the DEC’s Forest Health Diagnostics Lab at 108 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054.

“Most invasive forest pest infestations have been discovered and reported by members of the public, making citizen science a vital tool for protecting our urban and rural forests, swimming pool monitoring is a simple, economical approach to surveying for Asian long horned beetles and gives New Yorkers the chance to take an active role in protecting the trees in their yards and communities.” Commissioner Seggos says.

Those without swimming pools can contribute to the cause by reporting signs of ALB in their local communities. The beetles are about 1.5 inches long with black and white spots, and have a black and white antennae. They leave perfectly round exit holes about the size of a dime in branches and trunks of their host trees, and they create sawdust-like material called frass that collects on branches and around the base of trees. ALB are wood-boring beetles native to Asia that were accidentally introduced to the United States via wood packing materials. They attack a variety of hardwoods such as maples, birches, and willows and have caused the death of hundreds of thousands of trees across the country.

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has successfully eradicated ALB infestations from Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, Islip, and Queens. To learn more about the ALB Pool Survey and the ALB, including biology and ID tools, visit the DEC’s Website.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

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