USDA’s Most Recent Plans For Eliminating Asian Longhorned Beetle

Currently, 278.3 square miles are under federal quarantine in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina.

ALB. Photo Credit: USDA

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently announced its plans for eliminating Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) from Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina in 2024. ALB is an invasive insect that attacks and kills maple and other hardwood trees. The insect grows inside trees and feeds on the living tissues that carry nutrients. Trees cannot heal from the damage ALB causes.

Currently, 278.3 square miles are under federal quarantine for ALB in the United States: 110 square miles in Worcester County, Massachusetts; 42.9 square miles in central Long Island, New York; 49 square miles in Clermont County, Ohio; and 76.4 square miles in Charleston and Dorchester counties, South Carolina.

“We need people looking for and reporting tree damage now more than ever,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ National Operations Manager for the ALB Eradication Program. “Please look at your trees and report any suspicious damage. You can help us find the beetle so we can eliminate it.”

Here’s what to look for:

  • Adult Insects (warmer months):
    • Black and white antennae that are longer than the insect’s body
    • Shiny, black body with white spots, about the size of an almond
    • Six legs and feet that can appear bluish in color
  • ALB
    Exit holes

    Tree Damage (year-round):

    • Round exit holes in tree trunks and branches about the size of a dime or smaller
    • Egg sites that are oval or round wounds chewed into the bark, and you may see sap weeping
    • Sawdust-like material called frass found on the ground around the tree or on tree branches
    • Branches or limbs falling from an otherwise healthy-looking tree
    • Tunneling in the wood may be seen on fallen branches, cut wood, or firewood
    • Leaves that may turn yellow prematurely or leaves with chewed veins

APHIS Efforts For ALB Elimination

APHIS and its partners are inspecting trees in quarantined areas. The program removes infested trees at no cost to property owners. And they will not use insecticide treatments on residential properties this year. They will continue to respond to calls for assistance and provide outreach.

APHIS continues its work developing new ways to eradicate the beetle. These include:

  • Using a new dynamic approach to surveying to reduce the time spent re-inspecting trees that are low risk of becoming infested.
  • Conducting an infested-tree removal study in wetland environments.
  • Using risk-based models to project the beetle’s spread and plan survey efforts.
  • Evaluating new tools to find the beetle sooner, such as using trained dogs and remote-controlled technology to help find tree damage or host trees.
  • Conducting studies to understand when and under what conditions adult beetles emerge.
  • Improving data collection methods in each state.ALB

As a reminder, people living and working in quarantine zones may not move regulated items out of the area. This includes items such as firewood, nursery stock, woody debris, and green lumber from all ALB host trees, unless the person has a compliance agreement along with a permit, or certificate. The trees the beetle attacks are regulated. This includes maple, elm, willow, birch, poplar, buckeye / horsechestnut, ash, sycamore, mimosa, goldenrain tree, katsura, and mountain ash.

A business or person can enter into a compliance agreement with the program if they want to move regulated items out of the quarantine. Doing this will get them the needed permit or certificate for those items. Or they can request that program staff inspect the items and issue the permit or certificate. To register for free compliance training, please call your local office:

  • In Massachusetts, call 508-852-8110.
  • In New York, call 631-288-1751.
  • In Ohio, call 513-381-7180.
  • In South Carolina, call 843-973-8329.

For more information about ALB and program activities, please call 1-866-702-9938 or visit All Photos: USDA

For more on ALB, read:

It’s Spring! Get A Jump On Invasive Insects With These USDA Updates

Asian Longhorned Beetle Update: ALB Currently Found In Four States

Progress On Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication In Ohio


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