It only takes a few minutes to check your trees for the beetle and any signs of damage it causes:
1. Dime-sized (1/4" or larger), perfectly round exit holes
2. Shallow scars in bark where the eggs are laid
3. Sawdust-like materials, called frass, on the ground and the branches
4. Dead branches
Although the beetle may look menacing, it is harmless to people. The ALB is generally 1 to 1.5 inches in length, have six legs, and a shiny, jet-black body with random white spots.
"Since the Asian longhorned beetle can be found in any state, millions of acres of our nation's hardwoods — including national forests, state parks, and neighborhood trees — are at risk," Santos says. "The beetle can be unknowingly spread by the movement of infested firewood. Firewood might look harmless, but it's what you can't see that is most concerning."
Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid moving invasive pests in firewood:
Buy it at your destination and only purchase local firewood.
Ask questions about the firewood you purchase—where did it come from?
When you do purchase firewood at your destination, burn it all—don't take it back home with you.
Early detection is crucial in stopping the spread of the pest, and you play an important role in this effort. This year, New Jersey became the second state to declare eradication from the beetle. ALB was successfully eradicated from Illinois in 2008. In New York, Manhattan, Staten Island and Islip are now free of the ALB. An area is declared free of the ALB after all the infested trees are eliminated and surveys are negative for active signs of beetle activity or the presence of the beetle.
If you see any sign or symptom of an Asian longhorned beetle infestation, report it immediately. Visit www.Asianlonghornedbeetle.com to report a sighting or for more information, or call the toll free hotline at 1-866-702-9938.