How to Protect Your Trees in Greater Cincinnati from the Asian Longhorned Beetle

How to Protect Your Trees in Greater Cincinnati from the Asian Longhorned Beetle

Adult Asian Longhorned Beetle

Asian Longhorned Beetle (photo courtesy of Dean Morewood, Health Canada, Bugwood.org)

In June of 2011, municipal officials confirmed the presence of the Asian longhorn beetle in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Asian longhorn beetle is a destructive, non-native insect which was first detected in Brooklyn, New York in 1996.

If you find the Asian longhorn beetle in Cincinnati, Ohio, it is vital that you act quickly to destroy the infestation before it has a chance to spread. Experts fear that the Asian longhorn beetle could become one of the costliest and most devastating pests ever to appear in the United States. Not only could it necessitate the destruction of tens of thousands of otherwise healthy trees here in Ohio, but it could also cost the American forestry industry billions of dollars. The Asian longhorn beetle also puts wildlife habitats at great risk.

Detecting the Asian Longhorn Beetle in Cincinnati, Ohio

To help the fight against the Asian longhorn beetle, inspect the trees on your property for signs of infestation. First, look for the beetle itself. It is between 1 and 1.5 inches long, with a shiny black body flecked with unique white spots. Its antennae are very long — typically longer than the rest of the beetle’s body — and are black and white in color. Some Asian longhorn beetles have blue patches on their legs and feet.

Asian Longhorned Beetle Larve

Asian Longhorned Beetle Larve (photo courtesy of Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)

Then, look for signs of the Asian longhorn beetle’s presence. Check for circular exit holes bored through trees. These holes are typically about 0.25 inches in diameter. Infested trees may leak sap. Discarded shards of dead bark and dust may have collected on the tree’s branches and on the nearby ground.You may also notice grooves etched into the tree’s bark; this is a sign that the beetle has laid eggs. It is especially important to act promptly if you discover evidence of eggs or larvae. 

Tree species which are at risk from the Asian longhorn beetle include:

  • Ash
  • Birch
  • Elm
  • Maple
  • Mimosa
  • Poplar
  • Willow
  • and many others.

What to Do if You Find the Asian Longhorn Beetle in Cincinnati, Ohio

Clermont County, Ohio is currently under quarantine for Asian Longhorned Beetle.  This includes all of Tate Township, East Fork State Park and parts of Monroe Township.  If the Asian Longhorned Beetle is detected in your part of town, immediately contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 1-855- 252-6450, or the USDA at 1-800-282-1955.