The Asian Longhorn Beetle is an invasive species insect that has been in the United States since mid-late 1990. This pest causes irreparable harm to many tree species, including our beloved maples and oaks.
The beetle is known to attack and kill older trees that tend to stress more. The beetle was first discovered on the East Coast and, up to this day, has been contained to three quarantined states. The states, along with the USDA-APHIS, have conducted a massive eradication effort. Official regulation has been in effect since March 7, 1997.
Eradication efforts for invasive species are not uncommon. Our friends at the USDA-APHIS have been running field operations and programs such as with the Asian Longhorn Beetle in order to protect America’s landscapes, commodities, forests, and environment.
Costs of Invasive Insects Are High
Invasive insects can cause serious, lasting harm to our ecosystems, and it typically does not end with just one dead tree. These pests also cost taxpayers billions of dollars to combat each year, which is a double whammy for those that also lose something precious in their landscape.
For these reasons, it is important that we be vigilant for insects like these, enabling us to help in the eradication effort once a program is underway. Everyone’s combined effort and communication allows for better trapping and management of such pests.
Eradication Efforts Are Cooperative
The Asian Longhorn Beetle program in particular has had incredible success because of the actions and cooperation from states, municipalities, and homeowners alike. These contributions are helping to eliminate this pest, and hopefully complete elimination will happen in the very near future.
If you have trees that are listed on the host sight, and you live in a quarantine area of Massachusetts, New York, or Ohio, you should always be on the look-out for this pest. Additionally, adjacent counties of affected areas should serve as buffer zones, and other communities should be observant to help in this effort.
Compliant Nursery Stock is Key to Success
It is even more important to be cognizant of these invasive species when purchasing and shipping nursery stock. Anyone purchasing plants online or from outlets from the listed states should look for regulatory agreements or the federal stamp, both prior to ordering and when the product arrives.
Nursery products being shipped out of quarantine areas must be accompanied with a compliance agreement. This specifies that the plants have been managed in a way that prevents the invasive insect from moving out of the area. These agreements serve a purpose: leading the world to eradicate a harmful pest such as the Asian Longhorn Beetle.
More information on the Asian Longhorn Beetle can be found on the USDA-APHIS website, which also provides plant host lists, affected quarantine counties in each state, and progress maps. In the end, however, a company that verifies that your shipment is safe and abides by state and federal regulations should be your number one defense when purchasing a plant.
Our team at Plant Sentry™ applauds the efforts of our state and federal regulatory officials to help manage and eradicate serious pests, diseases, and invasive species. We are another part of the team that not only prioritizes communicating issues to you but works to solve those that wreak havoc on our landscapes, commodities, and environment.