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Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB)
ALB on branch

General Information

In June 2011, the Asian Longhorned Beetle was discovered in Tate Township in Clermont County. USDA APHIS first issued a Federal Order that mirrors the regulated boundaries of the State on July 13, 2011. In Ohio, the ODA and APHIS work together to operate the ALB eradication program. This invasive beetle has no known natural predators and poses a threat to Ohio's hardwood forests (more than $2.5 billion in standing maple timber) and the state's $5 billion nursery industry which employs nearly 240,000 people.

asian longhorned beetle

Ohio is the fifth state to find Asian Longhorned Beetles. The pest was successfully eradicated in Illinois and parts of New Jersey, and it is currently being controlled in New York and Massachusetts. With the help of local citizens reporting known infestations it can be controlled in Ohio as well. 

About ALB

structural damage to a tree caused by larvaeThe Asian longhorned beetle is native to China and is a wood-boring beetle that infests 12 genera of trees. Adult beetles are 1 to 1.5 inches in length, with long antennae and white spots on their bodies. Adult females chew 60-90 depressions into tree bark and lay a single egg -about the size of a rice grain- per site. When the egg hatches in a few weeks, the larva bores into the tree and feeds on the phloem. The pupal stage lasts 13-24 days, then the adults will emerge and chew out of the tree. These exit holes are round and approximately 3/8" in diameter. Once they have exited a tree, they feed on its leaves and bark for 10 to 14 days before mating and laying eggs.

ALB can overwinter in multiple life stages, resulting in their feeding, mating, and laying eggs throughout the summer and fall. While adult beetle activity is most obvious during the summer and early fall, adults have been seen from April to December. Adult beetles can fly for 400 yards or more to search for a host tree or mate. However, they usually remain on the tree from which they emerged, resulting in infestation by future generations.

ALB chewing out from the heartwoodSigns of ALB start to show about 3 to 4 years after infestation, with tree death occurring in 10 to 15 years depending on the tree’s overall health and site conditions. Infested trees do not recover, nor do they regenerate.

Quarantine

To keep this tree-killing pest from spreading across Ohio, restricted areas are now in effect for Tate Township and East Fork State Park in Clermont County. Currently 57 square miles are under regulation.

It is illegal to remove the following items from the quarantine area:

  • Firewood, stumps, roots, branches, debris and other material living, dead, cut, or fallen from all hardwood species; and green lumber, nursery stock and logs of the following genera: Acer (maple), Aesculus (horse chestnut), Albizia (mimosa), Betula (birch), Celtis (hackberry), Cercidiphyllum (katsura), Fraxinus (ash), Koelteria (golden raintree), Platanus (sycamore), Populus (poplar), Salix (willow), Sorbus (mountain ash), and Ulmus (elm).
  • Any other article, product, or means of conveyance not covered by paragraph (a) of this section if the director determines that it presents a risk of spreading Asian longhorned beetle.

If you perform work on regulated articles in any quarantine area, you must enter into a compliance agreement with the ALB eradication program in your State to move items to approved sites for disposal. Before entering into an agreement, you need to attend free compliance training. To register for this training, please call 513-381-7180.

Education & Outreach

USDA APHIS offers information materials to help raise awareness about the ALB. Publications can be requested online through the Publications Ordering System.

ALB damage on a maple tree

Removals & Treatment

Survey

  • Climbers survey for ALB damageSurvey includes visual assessment of 12 genera of trees - maple is most preferred
    • Climbers survey for ALB damage that can not be easily seen from the ground.
  • Infested trees  and high risk trees (potentially infested trees) are removed and chipped following detection and quality assurance survey.

Eradication

  • infested trees marked for removalPreventative chemical treatment is used via trunk injection with imidacloprid.  Chemical treatment will not kill a beetle or larvae that has already infested a tree.
  • When an infested tree is found, it is removed and ground to less than 1 inch in two dimensions.

Status

As of December 2018:

2,807,985  tree surveys conducted since surveys began on 7/1/11
19,066  infested trees confirmed since detection on 6/17/11
19,018  infested trees removed since removals started on 11/14/11
81,104  high risk host trees removed since removals started on 5/1/13
37,541  high risk host tree treatments conducted since 2013

Contact

If you think you've seen the beetle or signs of infestation, please contact the Ohio ALB eradication program office at 513-381-7180 or ALB@agri.ohio.gov.

If possible, capture the insect, place it in a jar, and freeze for identification. If you have a digital camera, take pictures of the insect and the damage to your trees.