2011-09-29 / News

DEM: Be on lookout for Asian longhorned beetle

The Department of Environmental Management is coordinating a public outreach program for the Asian longhorned beetle. The beetle is an invasive insect that came to the United States in wooden shipping crates from China and Korea about 15 years ago.

It affects hardwood shade trees such as maple, ash, birch, willow and elm by boring into the core of the tree and eventually killing it. This beetle has the potential of wiping out thousands of the state’s trees if it goes undetected.

The department is asking the public, in addition to nurserymen, commercial pesticide applicators, arborists and other tree health specialists, to notify DEM if they observe any insects resembling the beetle or see symptoms or damage related to this beetle in Rhode Island.

The beetle is large, ranging from .75 to 1.25 inches in length with long black and white antennae. The body is glossy black with irregular white spots. The distinctive antennae that give the beetle its common name are as long as the body itself in females, and almost twice the body length in males.

To report, go to the DEM website (dem.ri.gov) and click on “Report Asian Longhorned Beetle” under Timely Topics on the homepage.

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