The Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis, "ALB"), a pest of hardwood trees including maple, birch and horse chestnut, was recently discovered in Worcester, Massachusetts. An astute resident of the Greendale section of Worcester reported the sighting, and it was confirmed by entomologists from USDA APHIS-PPQ earlier this week.
The Asian Longhorn Beetle is an invasive species native to China. It was first discovered in the U.S. in New York in 1996, and has also been found in Chicago and New Jersey. The beetles cause damage by tunneling within the trunks and branches of trees, disrupting the sap flow and weakening and eventually killing them.
This pest attacks a wide variety of hardwood trees, particularly maples, and is considered a serious threat to the nursery, lumber, wood products, maple syrup, and tourism industries in our state. If it became established over a large area, it could also significantly disrupt the forest ecosystem.
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, and the City of Worcester are partnering with the U.S. Forest Service and USDA APHIS-PPQ to coordinate a management plan to eradicate this species in Massachusetts. First steps include a survey of the area to determine the extent of the infestation, and regulatory management to prevent movement of host trees and wood out of the infested area. Infested trees will need to be removed and destroyed, and susceptible host trees may need treatment to prevent further infestations.
To learn more about the Asian longhorned beetle, see our fact sheet.
If you think you have seen this beetle, we encourage you to submit a report and photos, or you can call our Pest Hotline at 617-626-1779. Any specimens you capture should be placed in a container and frozen, and please do not disturb any infested trees or move any wood that you think could have been affected by this pest.
To sign up for pest alerts from the Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project, visit this page.