Asian Long-horned Beetle: Menace of the Forest

By Kara Kerstetter, Sustainable Plant Systems- Landscape Design and Management

The Asian long-horned beetle is a cause for concern for Ohio’s forests. This insect is no ordinary invader due to the host range of trees it attacks. The trees that ALB ca

asian longhorned beetle

Steven Valley, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.com

n inhabit are as follows: Ash, Birch, Elm, Golden raintree, London planetree/sycamore, Maple, Horsechestnut/buckeye, Katsura, Mimosa, Mountain ash, Poplar and Willow

Although it was first found in Ohio in June 2011 it has come up in recent news as it is still prevalent. Clermont County has 61 square miles of regulated area where ALB has been spotted and trees that are infested with the insect. This regulated area is an effort to prevent the spread of the insect. As someone interested in landscaping and horticulture I thought I would take a deeper look at Asian long-horned beetle just in case I coming across it as well as inform others about it in hopes to help eradication efforts.

The adults have black bodies with white spots and are 1 to 1.5 inches in length. They antennae’s are long with banding of black and white. The male has longer antennae than the female but the female is slightly bigger. The adult females chew into the bark to lay their grain sized eggs. They hatch after 2 weeks and the larva bores into the tree where it feeds and create tunnels throughout the woody tissue. It continues to feed as it overwinters.

beetle damage

Dennis Haugen, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.com

The larva then molts into the pupal stage which lasts between 13-24 days where they then develop into adults. The adult beetles chew 3/8th inch diameter round exit holes. They have the ability to fly 400 yards or more to find another tree or mate. One thing that makes it hard to prevent infestation is that it takes 3 to 4 years to show signs of infestation. The infestation eventually leads to tree death. Identification tactics to spot an infested tree are to look for frass at the trunk, bases of branches and look for those exit holes.

It is important to be able to know these characteristics when checking trees for infestation especially in the regulated and neighboring areas. It is good to know when Asian long-horned beetle is active. The adults are actively mating and laying eggs during the summer and fall. This information has definitely created some awareness of the invasive species and the destruction it could cause if it continues to spread throughout the state and across North America.

About the Author:
I am a Sustainable Plant Systems major specializing in Landscape Design and Management. In my last semester of my undergraduate degree I have found it is important to stay current on topics facing my field of study and future career. I strive to be out in nature as much as possible and I am interested in creating landscapes with a purpose.

Source:
USDA APHIS > Asian Longhorned Beetle – About

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *