Be on the lookout for the Asian longhorned beetle

RDN REPORTS
A. An adult male Asian longhorned beetle (Michael Bohne, USDA Forest Service). B. Large, round exit hole created when an adult beetle chewed out of this tree (Joe Boggs, The Ohio State University). C. A tree damaged by many years of Asian longhorned beetle infestation (PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources-Forestry).

This beetle has the potential to destroy millions of acres of trees in the US, decimating both rural and community forests, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. 

The best time to look for signs of this destructive species is during late summer. The beetle’s preferred host is red maple, but many other trees are attacked by ALB, including boxelder, buckeye, willow, elm, ash, birch, sycamore, mimosa, mountain ash, golden raintree, and most maple species, according to the department. 

To help protect local forests from the effects of ALB, the department recommends residents participate in Tree Check Month. 

ALB is easy to recognize:

  • Beetles are 1 to 1½ inches long.
  • They have black, shiny bodies with distinct white spots.
  • Antennae are long with black and white stripes.

Tree signs and symptoms of an ALB infestation include:

  • Large, round exit holes
  • Fine wood shavings collecting around the trunk or on branches
  • Leaves on some branches showing fall colors early

Report suspect beetles and infested trees, including photos, to MDC’s Forest Health staff at forest.health@mdc.mo.gov or visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZBh.

Learn more about the Asian longhorned beetle by visiting this USDA website: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/pests-diseases/asian-longhorned-beetle