USDA makes plans to deal with Asian longhorned beetle

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longhorned beetle

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is announcing its plans for combatting the Asian longhorned beetle in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and South Carolina in 2021.

In 2021, the program will focus on inspecting trees in quarantined areas in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and South Carolina, and removing infested trees at no cost to property owners. The program will not apply insecticide treatments this year.

Program

Program officials will monitor for the beetle’s presence inside and around each area, respond to calls for assistance, conduct training sessions for compliance agreement holders and perform outreach. People may not move regulated items, such as firewood (all hardwood species), nursery stock, logs, branches, etc., out of the area without a compliance agreement, permit or certificate.

A business or person wanting to move regulated articles out of the quarantine zone may do so in one of two ways, as applicable.

A frequent and regular mover of regulated articles may enter into a compliance agreement with the program and self-issue the needed permit or certificate for those articles. This option saves time and effort for both the business or person and the program staff when movement will occur on a regular basis.

When movement of regulated articles is infrequent, a business or person may request that program staff inspect the articles and directly issue the needed permit or certificate. This requires at least two working days of advance notice.

To register for free compliance training, call your local office. In Massachusetts, call 508-852-8110. In New York, call 631-288-1751. In Ohio, call 513-381-7180. In South Carolina, call 843-973-8329.

How to help

People who live in a quarantined area can help in several ways. Allow program officials access to your property to inspect trees and remove any infested trees that are found. Hire tree or landscape companies that have compliance agreements with the eradication program to ensure that woody material from your property is properly removed and disposed of.

Contact your local ALB eradication program office or municipality for information on proper yard waste disposal procedures if you need to move woody materials such as stumps, logs, brush and twigs from your property. Don’t move any infested tree materials, live trees or nursery stock of beetle host trees without first contacting your local eradication program office.

Never move wood out of quarantined areas, because it can spread the beetle and other tree pests and diseases.

Monitoring

State and federal officials monitor the movement of wood within and around regulated areas to enforce the quarantine and may issue fines to individuals and businesses that do not comply with the regulations. Currently, 295.9 square miles are under federal quarantine for the beetle in the United States.

This includes 110 square miles in Worcester County, Massachusetts; 53 square miles in central Long Island, New York; 56.5 square miles in Clermont County, Ohio; and 76.4 in Charleston and Dorchester counties, South Carolina.

The ALB program has successfully eradicated the beetle from Illinois (2008); Boston (2014), in Massachusetts; New Jersey (2013); Brooklyn and Queens (2019), Manhattan and Staten Island (2013) and Islip (2011), in New York; and Stonelick and Monroe Townships, (2018) in Ohio.

For more information about the beetle and program activities, call the ALB toll-free hotline at 866-702-9938 or visit aphis.usda.gov/pests-diseases/alb.

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