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Missouri Dept. of Conservation: Check your trees for invasive Asian longhorned beetles

The Missouri Department of Conservation urges all Missourians to check trees their for Asian...
The Missouri Department of Conservation urges all Missourians to check trees their for Asian longhorned beetle.(Michael Bohne/USDA Forest Service via MDC)
Published: Sep. 12, 2021 at 9:00 PM CDT
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (KY3/Edited News Release) - The Missouri Department of Conservation urges all Missourians to check their trees for Asian longhorned beetle.

This invasive, wood-boring insect can feed on more than 20 different species of trees common to Missouri. The Asian longhorned beetle has the potential to destroy millions of acres of trees across the U.S., decimating both rural and community forests.

Missouri currently has no known ALB infestations, but populations of this destructive species can be found in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina. In order to control the spread of this insect, thousands of trees have been destroyed in each of these states. One way to prevent a local ALB infestation is to not move firewood long distances from where it was harvested.

The best time of year to look for signs of ALB is late summer, when tree damage caused by the pest is most visible. The beetle’s preferred host tree is red maple, but ALB will attack many other trees, including boxelder, buckeye, willow, elm, ash, birch, sycamore, mimosa, mountain ash, golden raintree, and most maple species.

MDC says to keep an eye out for the large, showy beetle and the damage it causes to trees.

What to look for:

  • Large beetles with black, shiny bodies and 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

For more information on the species, CLICK HERE.

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