DEC is Seeking Help Monitoring an Invasive Species


Asian Longhorned Beetle Photograph credit: Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ,

The Asian Longhorned Beetle showed up on New York City around 1996, likely hitching a ride in cargo containers. This pest is most destructive in its larval stage, according to the New York State DEC. This pest was collected on maple and horse chestnut trees by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department at Green Point in northern Brooklyn. It was initially identified by E. Richard Hoebeke of Cornell University. The Longhorned beetle is a pest found in China, Japan and Korea. This was the first detection of this pest in the United States.

The DEC is asking for your help in monitoring adults that have emerged.

The Citizen Pool Survey takes place this time of year when ALBs are expected to become adults, emerge from the trees they are infesting and become active outside those trees. With citizens involved in looking for this pest, there is a better chance of finding new infestations early, which will help DEC and other state and federal agencies focus their efforts to eliminate infestations.

In addition to a owning a swimming pool, participants will need:

1. A digital camera
2. An email address that is actively used (if they want to receive updates from DEC)
3. The ability to upload a photograph and send it via email

You don’t have a pool? You can still help. This year, DEC expanded its photo collection to include anyone who spots a suspect beetle, whether it is found in their pool or not. Residents are also encouraged to submit photos if there is suspicion of an Emerald Ash Borer (see what it looks like on DEC’s Emerald Ash Borer web page) or another invasive pest damaging native ash trees. Photos can be submitted to the forest health program email address listed below.

Directions for participating in the pool survey are outlined below:

Step 1: From July 23 – August 30 (when adults are active), at least once a week, or when you clean your pool, check the debris collected in your filter and skimmers.

Step 2: Look for the ALB (See what it looks like on DEC’s ALB web page). Contact the forest health program (see phone number and email address below) and we will provide a sheet to help identify insects collected.

Step 3: Take a picture of any insect you think might be an ALB.

Step 4: Once a week send a photo of the insect that looks most like ALB. (DEC would like to hear from you once a week.)

Step 5: Send the photo to

Step 6: Freeze the insect in a plastic container until DEC staff respond (typically that will be about a week). Staff will either instruct you to discard the insect or give instructions on mailing it, delivering it, or arranging for pick-up.

To sign up for the survey, please contact:

NYSDEC Forest Health Program
Attn: Jessica Cancelliere
Phone: (518) 810-1609

The early stages of larvae of this beetle feed between the xylem and the phloem, and the later stages feed only on the xylem, inhibiting the tree’s vascular system. It is most destructive when larvae cross perpendicular to the flow, thereby cutting off many vascular paths. Larvae can cut off the flow from vasular tissue and essentially girdle the tree. Adults emerge through three-quarter-inch holes in the bark. Recorded in the literature are the following hardwood hosts in Asia: Ulmus parvifolia(elm), Salix babylonica (willow), and Populus species (poplar). Hosts found in Brooklyn include Aesculus (horsechesnut) and Acer species (Norway, sugar and silver maples)