How to spot an Asian long-horned beetle infestation

Hampden County

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – The Asian long-horned beetle is still a threat to trees in certain parts of Massachusetts.

The beetle is known to cause extensive damage to numerous types of hardwoods and targets birch, willow, elm, maple and ash trees, and many more. But you have to go east to see that infestation. According to MassWildlife, two separate infestations have been found in the Commonwealth.

The first was in Worcester in 2008 and the second was Boston in 2010, but the Boston one has been eradicated while the Worcester one continues. Over 110-square miles are regulated for the beetle in Worcester, Boylston, Shrewsbury, and parts of Holden and Auburn.

“The Asian longhorned beetle, the adult stage, which is that pretty black beetle with white spots, looks like a starry night sky, that beetle itself doesn’t cause any damage it’s the larval stage,” entomologist, Natasha Wright told 22News.

She explained, “That larval stage is in the tree, it’s eating the layer of wood that has the sap in it, and it can actually kill many species of hardwood.”

You can check for an infestation by looking for dime-sized holes, scars in the bark, sawdust-like material around the tree, and dead branches.

This beetle has the potential to cause more damage than gypsy moths.

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