Throughout the United States, August is the time of year when the adults of the invasive Asian longhorn beetle (ALB) species begin to appear. To aid in protecting the health of our trees from this pest, experts encourage residents of Oregon to regularly examine their trees for evidence of the beetle and the damage it leaves behind. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made ALB prevention a top priority this year, declaring August to be “Tree Check Month.”
Asian Longhorn Beetle Info
In the winter months, this wood-boring beetle is in its larval stage, during which it lives and feeds inside the trunks and branches of various North American hardwood trees, including elms, birches, and maples. As it feeds and grows, it chews tunnels throughout the tree it infests, then emerges as an adult in the late summer months. The tree is unable to recover from this extensive damage, becoming weaker and dropping branches until eventually dying. Not only is this bad for the ecosystem, but it can become a major safety concern, especially during heavy rainstorms.
Identifying an Infestation
You can identify an infestation either by sighting the beetle itself or examining the tree for specific kinds of damage to its leaves, trunk, and branches. The ALB is one to one and a half inches in length, having a shiny black body marked with white spots, six bluish-toned legs, and long black and white antennae.
Before you inspect your tree, you must first determine the type or species of tree you will be examining to learn what to expect from a healthy specimen. Then look for the following signs:
Leaves – Are they spotted or discolored to red, yellow, or brown? Do they seem disfigured or distorted? Is there evidence of them being chewed or missing leaves? Do they appear wet with a sticky liquid or emanate an offensive smell?
Trunk and branches – Are there round holes present, dime-sized or smaller? Does the bark show evidence of chewing or tunneling in the form of shallow, rounded scars? Is the tree emitting a foul-smelling sap? Are dead limbs falling from a tree that otherwise appears healthy? Is there sawdust in the branches or on the ground surrounding the tree?
If you answered yes to the questions above, it is very likely that your tree is suffering from an ALB infestation. Contact A-One Exterminators today to schedule an appointment with one of our professional exterminators. We can diagnose an infestation, stop in its tracks, and make sure your trees stay healthy and beautiful.