State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is asking New York’s swimming pool owners to participate in the annual Asian Longhorned Beetle Swimming Pool Survey during August.
During late summer, Asian longhorned beetles (ALB) emerge as adults and are most active outside of their host trees. The goal of the survey is to locate infestations of these invasive pests before they cause serious damage to the state’s forests and street trees.
“Most invasive forest pest infestations have reported by the public, making citizen science a vital tool for protecting urban and rural forests,” Seggos said.
DEC is asking pool owners to periodically check pool filters for insects that resemble ALB and report suspects either by emailing photos to email@example.com or mailing insects to DEC’s Forest Health Diagnostics Lab at 108 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054, Attn: Jessica Cancelliere.
People without swimming pools can help by reporting signs of ALB in their communities.
• Are about 1.5 inches long, black with white spots, and have black and white antennae;
• Leave perfectly round exit holes about the size of a dime in branches and trunks of host trees; and
• Create sawdust-like material called frass that collects on branches and around the base of trees.
ALB are wood-boring beetles native to Asia that were accidentally introduced to the United States through wood packing materials. These pests attack maples, birches and willows and have caused the death of hundreds of thousands of trees across the country.