Officials are redoubling their efforts to stamp out the Asian longhorned beetle in New York City and Long Island, according to a report in the New York Times.
The invasive insect destroys maple, willow, birch and other trees by laying eggs under the bark. Overwintering larvae destroy infested trees, and their vascular systems, from the inside. State and federal governments have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to eradicate the insect through extensive scouting, and the removal of afflicted trees. They’ve also tried removing host tree species, in order to deprive the bug of its habitat.
The insect is still considered eradicated in New Jersey, but quarantines are still in effect in the states of New York, Ohio and Massachusetts. Neighboring states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions are considered at risk for the bug.
For further information, log onto the USDA’s ALB site at http://asianlonghornedbeetle.com/.