Secretary Urges Public to Help Keep Foreign Beetle from Entering Pennsylvania
Collect Samples of Suspected Asian Longhorned Beetles to Aid Experts in Fight
Harrisburg – Agriculture Secretary George
Greig today encouraged Pennsylvanians to protect the commonwealth tree
population by spotting, collecting and submitting suspected Asian longhorned
beetles to experts.
Pennsylvanians are aware of the threat that invasive species pose to our
state’s timber, maple syrup and tourism industries, but awareness isn’t
enough,” said Greig. “Since Asian longhorned beetles are similar in appearance
to more common beetles, we need citizens to capture samples and submit them to
experts for identification.”
that while Pennsylvanians can submit suspect beetles to the department
headquarters in Harrisburg or to its six other regional office locations,
county Penn State Extension offices are often a closer, quicker option.
Penn State Extension office near every citizen – one in all 67 Pennsylvania
counties – to quickly identify and respond to threats from invasive species,”
said Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Acting Dean Barb Christ. “We
work closely with the department to efficiently and effectively find ways to
combat invasive species. When the public submits specimens of invasive plants
and pests, rather than relying on our staff to find and catch them, it frees
our experts to continue their research into fighting invasive species.”
sample and ship it to a county extension office or Department of Agriculture
office along with a sample submission form. Find the form at agriculture.state.pa.us by searching
“sample submission form” and scrolling down to “publications.”
reminder comes during August Tree Check Month, part of a national campaign
urging people to take 10 minutes to check their trees for signs of the Asian
that since many species of wood-boring insects, including the Asian longhorned
beetle and emerald ash borer, can be spread through transport of infested
firewood and logs, campers and homeowners are encouraged to: use only locally
harvested firewood; burn all of it on-site; and not carry it to new locations.
Asian longhorned beetle is three-quarters to one-and-a-quarter inches long, has
a jet-black glossy body with white spots on each wing, and long, black and
larvae tunnel through tree stems causing girdling that cuts off the flow of
nutrients, eventually killing the tree and resulting in coarse sawdust at the
base of infested parts of the tree. Adult beetles leave round exit holes in the
tree after they emerge. There is no known practical control for this
wood-boring pest other than destroying infested trees.
attack and eventually kill many species of trees, but prefer maple species.
Soft (red maple) and hard (sugar maple) trees make up more than 25 percent of
Pennsylvania’s hardwood forests. The beetle also attacks species of ash, birch,
buckeye, elm, horsechestnut, poplar and willow trees. As much as $10 billion in
lumber and pulp production and $3 million in maple syrup sales are at risk.
China, Mongolia and Korea, the beetle was first discovered in North America in
New York in 1996 and has since been found in Illinois, Massachusetts, New
Jersey, Ohio and Ontario, mainly in urban settings.
proximity to New York, New Jersey and Ohio raise a concern due to frequent
travel across state borders for recreational purposes. Should the beetle be
found in Pennsylvania, the Department of Agriculture will partner with the U.S.
Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Plant
Protection and Quarantine division and the U.S. Forest Service to implement a
full-scale eradication program.
would entail surveys, imposing quarantines to prevent accidental transport of
the beetle, removal and destruction of infested host trees and high risk trees,
as well as outreach and replanting efforts. Early detection of the beetle can
lessen the severity and impacts of these activities.
suspect a sighting of Asian longhorned beetle, call the Pennsylvania Department
of Agriculture’s toll-free pest hotline at 1-866-253-7189 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
information about Asian longhorned beetle, including photos, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us and search