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Illinois Governor Proclaims April 17, 2008 to be Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Day

Sirex noctilioAsian longhorned beetle, or ALB, responsible for the destruction of more than 1,500 trees in northeastern Illinois, has been eradicated in Illinois, state and federal officials recently said on Thursday, April 17. "The key to success is early pest detection," said Bruce Knight, U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. The last sighting occurred in 2003 in an area around Chicago's Oz Park.

The beetle is believed to have arrived in the Chicago area in wood pallets carrying Chinese-made goods to a nearby hardware importer. By the time ALB was identified in 1998, it had spread to hundreds of trees, and separate infestations later were found in Summit and DuPage County. The beetle favors maples and other deciduous hardwoods that are common along city streets. Beetle larvae bore deep into the trunk of a tree, eventually killing it. Emerging adults chew their way out and spread to new trees. The only sure way to stop ALB is to cut down and remove infested trees.

Standing at Cullom and Winchester Avenues in Chicago, less than a block from where the first infestation was found, a state official read a proclamation signed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich declaring April 17, 2008 to be Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Day.

USDA APHIS and Forest Service currently are working with state and local government partners to eradicate ALB in parts of New York and in central New Jersey. The Asian longhorned beetle is about 1.5 inches long and shiny black with antenna up to twice the length of their bodies, banded in black and white. Favored host trees include maple, birch, elm, and poplar. more Asian Longhorned Beelte information>>


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Forest Service-USDA
Stop Code 1110
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-1110
(703) 605-5344