Asian Long Horned Beetle Endangering Trees

on November 16, 2012

Another species of beetle is causing issues mainly in the upper eastern part of the US.   This beetle is known as the Asian Long Horned beetle.  The beetle bores into hardwood trees to plant their larvae which eventually results in the tree withering and dyeing.    We have previously posted stories on the Mountain Pine Beetle that is killing massive amounts of Pine trees out west.  

The issue is similar in that beetles are boring into trees to plant their larvae, resulting in the trees dying, but there are large differences.   The biggest difference is that the Mountain Pine Beetle is native to North America (at least for the last 100 years) where the Long Horned Beetle is not.  The Asian Long Horned Beetle is an invasive species that is suspected to have been transported over by wooden crates from China.

The Mountain Pine Beetle spread is attributed to warmer winters over the last few years as cold winters tend to kill off the beetles.   The Long Horned Beetle has been isolated to just a handful of states and has actually been successfully eradicated from some areas.   Pesticides are much more effective on the Asian Long Horned Beetle than the Mountain Pine Beetle.  It appears that efforts to control or eradicate the Asian Long Horned Beetle have been much more effective than controlling the Mountain Pine Beetle.  Once a tree is infected by either beetle, there is no successful treatment option to save the tree.

 The Mountain Pine Beetle has affected the lumber industry as reported before, the Asian Long Horned Beetle effects the hardwood trees such as Maple.  

The Asian Long Horned Beetle is the precise reason that we have the ISPM 15 regulations.   These and other invasive insects can be transported between continents via wood packaging.   Often there is no natural predator for an invasive species which allows them to spread and take over areas, killing native plants or species as they grow.

More information on the Asian Long Horned Beetle.