MELVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – After five long years trying to eradicate the Asian longhorned beetle, the pesky insect is still killing trees in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.
The United States Department of Agriculture is urging people to spend some time this weekend checking their trees for signs of the infestation, reports CBSN New York’s Carolyn Gusoff.
The USDA has been out every day checking for years, and in total have taken down more than 8,000 trees on Long Island – maples, elms, willows – 11 different types of trees that are susceptible to the Asian longhorned beetle.
Once infected, they must come down. There is no treatment.
“Take a look at your trees, you don’t need to know what type of tree it is, what species, but take a look,” said Suzanne Kreuz of the USDA. “If something looks funny? Do you see large holes in it? Do you see a sawdust-like material coming out of it called frass that looks like pencil shavings from a pencil sharpener? Does a tree look like it’s losing leaves on its canopy?
“These are the signs we would look at that it might be infested with Asian longhorn beetle,” she said.
To report suspected trees, people can contact the USDA by calling 1-866-702-993 or online at www.AsianLonghornedBeetle.com.
“The public is our biggest ally because we can’t be looking at 50 square miles every day,” said Kruez. “It would devastate the park. The Massapequa Preserve has over 30,000 maple trees it, we are trying to stop the beetle from inhabiting this area.”
The 11 different types of trees susceptible to the Asian longhorned beetle include:
- Japanese maple
- Horse chestnut
- London plane
- Mountain ash
The beetle is serious business, as it might destroy upstate forests and much of the foliage on Long Island.
There is one bit of good news amid the fight: It looks like the Asian longhorn beetle is on its way to eradication in Queens and Brooklyn.