The USDA is warning homeowners about a potentially dangerous and invasive pest. The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) has been spotted in five states: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio and Illinois. While it's been eradicated in Illinois and New York, foresters are still warning of the dangers, since the pest has caused more than $500 million in damage already.
ALB was first seen in the US in the 1990's, and scientists say it likely came over from China. It's transported through fire wood and nursery plants. Around 130,000 trees have been eradicated so far.
The bug is black and shiny, an inch and a half long with equally long antennas. It is different from a bug well-known in Michiana, the Emerald Ash Borer.
"The Asian Longhorned Beetle has the potential to be far more devastating than the Emerald Ash Borer, principally because it eats so many different kinds of trees," said Gary Woodward, USDA Deputy Under Secretary.
The USDA is asking homeowners to take 10 minutes to check the trees on their property during the month of August because that is the time adult beetles are the most active.
Signs of the beetle include dime sized exit holes in tree trunks, sawdust like material around the base of a tree and dead limbs. If you would like to report ALB contact the USDA at (877) 702-9938.
Click here for more information about the Asian Longhorned Beetle.