DEEP: DEP And Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Respond To Presence Of Asian Longhorned Beetle In Worcester, MA

August 11, 2008

DEP and Connecticut Agricultural Experiment
Station Respond to Presence of Asian
Longhorned Beetle in Worcester, MA

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) today announced that federal agricultural officials have confirmed the presence of the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) in nearby Worcester, Massachusetts. This beetle is a serious pest in other parts of the world and can kill hardwood trees in roadside plantings, shelterbelts, and plantations. In the United States, the beetle prefers maple species.

"This discovery is certainly a concern," said Christopher Martin, DEP Director of Forestry. "The close proximity to Connecticut definitely places our forests at risk. We are asking Connecticut residents to keep their eyes open and report possible ALB infestations to CAES or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (APHIS). Early detection is the best defense. Residents should also remember to purchase firewood from local sources and not transport firewood from out of state. Firewood arriving to Connecticut from infested areas can easily bring along unwanted hitch hikers like ALB and other harmful forest pests."

ALB typically does not spread quickly on its own, but it can easily be inadvertently transported in untreated firewood and other forest products. Trees affected include:

  • Boxelder,
  • Norway, Red, Silver, and Sugar maples,
  • Alders, Birches, Elms, Horsechestnut, Poplars, and Willows.

A complete list of host trees in the United States, however, has not been determined. Previous infestations have occurred in New York, Illinois and New Jersey.

Residents suspecting they have seen ALB should report their findings to CAES at (203) 974-8474 or (203) 974-8485. Residents can also report sightings to APHIS via their website at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/.

For additional information on the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) go to the DEP Forestry section of the DEP Website at http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2697&q=322792&depNav_GID=1631&depNav=|.