Department of Natural Resources
Aug. 3, 2020
This year, many Michiganders have found time to reacquaint themselves with the outdoors. Whether you spend time walking, hiking or exploring neighborhood parks, you can help protect Michigan’s trees by spending a little of your outdoors time checking for signs of the Asian longhorned beetle.
|August is Tree Check Month, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is asking the public to look for and report any signs of this invasive pest that’s not native to Michigan and could cause harm to our environment and economy.
|The Asian longhorned beetle was first detected in the U.S. in 1996, when a Brooklyn, New York resident noticed a large, black beetle with irregular white spots and black-and-white banded antennae and reported it. Since that time, the Asian longhorned beetle has been found in 20 locations in six states, including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio and, most recently, South Carolina.
To date, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has been successful in eradicating the beetle from all but four locations in the U.S. However, eradication has both financial and environmental costs. According to the USDA, over $750 million has been spent on the Asian longhorned beetle eradication program in the last 22 years, and at least 180,000 trees have been removed from infested neighborhoods and counties.
|The beetle has not been detected in Michigan, but discovering early signs of infestation can prevent widespread damage to the state’s forest resources, urban landscapes and maple syrup production.
Whenever you are outdoors this month, take time to look at the trees around you for signs of the Asian longhorned beetle, including:
|Adult Asian longhorned beetles are distinctively large, ranging from 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches in length, not including their long antennae. The beetles are shiny black, with random white blotches or spots, and their antennae have alternating black and white segments. They have six legs that can be black or partly blue, with blue coloration sometimes extending to their feet.|
Several beetles and bugs native to Michigan often are mistaken for the Asian longhorned beetle.
Anyone observing an Asian longhorned beetle, or a tree that appears to have been damaged by it, is asked to report it. If possible, capture the beetle in a jar, take photos, record the location and report it as soon as possible at AsianLonghornedBeetle.com or contact MDARD at 800-292-3939 or MDA-info@Michigan.gov.
More information can be found at Michigan.gov/ALB.
Michigan's Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.