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New Pheromone Traps Lure Asian Longhorned Beetles Out of Hiding

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The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is one infamous insect these days. When it shows up, the media go crazy, wanted posters go up on busses and billboards, and many people get very, very worried. For this beetle is capable of killing healthy trees and has the potential to cause major ecosystem changes—if allowed to get out of control in the forests of North America. Maples, iconic trees for fall color in the Northeast, Midwest, and Canada, are its preferred larval host, but the ALB is known to develop in and destroy as many as 23 species of deciduous trees. In our cities, 35 percent of urban trees are at risk. ALB has no known natural enemies and the only registered pesticide treatment (soil drench or injection of imidacloprid) must be done by a registered pesticide applicator under supervision of the eradication program. The only effective way to kill the larvae is to chip infested material into tiny pieces. So, urban foresters, entomologists, natural resources managers, and homeowners’ associations are all part of a campaign to eradicate the ALB in North America. Indeed, many who work professionally on the ALB problem call themselves "Beetlebusters"!

View the Winter 2012 Research Review (2.8 MB PDF)

For more information contact

Jane Hodgins
Public Affairs Specialist
USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station
1992 Folwell Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108


Last modified: January 28, 2012