The Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis, or ALB) is a threat to America's hardwood trees. With no current cure, early identification and eradication are critical to its control. The ALB has the potential to cause more damage than Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight and gypsy moths combined, destroying millions of acres of America's treasured hardwoods, including national forests and backyard trees.
History of ALB in Massachusetts
The Asian Longhorned beetle (ALB) was first discovered in the United States in Brooklyn, NY in 1996 and has since been found in Illinois (1998), New Jersey (2002), Massachusetts (2008), and Ohio (2011). The ALB most likely made its way to the U.S. inside wood packaging material from Asia where it is a serious pest of hardwood trees.
Two separate infestations have been found in Massachusetts, the first was in Worcester in 2008 and the second was Boston in 2010, which has since been eradicated. The Worcester infestation is currently on going. At present, 110 square miles are regulated for the ALB including all of Worcester, West Boylston, Boylston, and Shrewsbury, as well as part of Holden and Auburn.
The current cooperative eradication program established a 110 square mile quarantine zone in Worcester County. There are six communities included in the quarantine zone: Worcester, Boylston, West Boylston, Shrewsbury, Holden, and Auburn.
ALB Management Plan
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, USDA APHIS, and the US Forest Service are all working together to eradicate ALB from the state. Currently the only effective means to eliminate ALB is to remove infested trees and destroy them by chipping or burning. To prevent further spread of the insect, quarantines are established to avoid transporting infested trees and branches from the area. Early detection of infestations and rapid treatment response are crucial to successful eradication of the beetle.
The Forest Health Program utilizes ALB traps as an additional survey tool assisting the Eradication program with locating previous undetected ALB infestations. If you see an ALB trap please do not disturb it and if you notice any damage or tampering to a trap, report it to the Asian Longhorned Beetle Cooperative Eradication Program at 508-852-8090.