One Less Pest in NYC, While Another Pest Experiments with Planes

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No More ALB in the Big Apple–Earlier this month, USDA APHIS announced the successful eradication of Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) from areas in New York City.

“I am proud to say that we have eradicated Asian longhorned beetle from Brooklyn and Queens,” said Greg Ibach, USDA’s Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “This officially marks the end of our 23-year long battle with this pest in New York City.”

This is significant, in large part, because the first ALB detection in the U.S. was in a Brooklyn neighborhood in 1996. The eradication was accomplished through coordinated efforts of federal, state, and municipal agencies. Movement of host trees, firewood, and woody debris was heavily regulated in combination with removal of infested trees (5,208 total) and preventive treatment of at-risk trees (62,609 total) with insecticide.

Areas on Long Island, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, remain regulated for ALB. Once a tree is infested, it must be removed and destroyed. ALB has been implicated in the loss of over 180,000 estimated trees in Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois.

SLF Seeks Frequent Flyer Status–Dead spotted lanternflies (SLF) have been found at several California airports. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has reported finding 11 dead spotted lanternflies this year on cargo planes arriving in Sacramento, Stockton, and Ontario, California airports. All flights appear to have originated from Allentown, PA, located in the SLF quarantine area.

All detections were found as part of a Japanese beetle inspection program, and all were adult specimens that likely died en route to California. The Allentown airport has since been treated to reduce SLF populations at the facility.

CDFA has been proactively training county ag personnel and those located at border inspection stations to detect and identify SLF. CDFA has also funded research to investigate potential biocontrol agents, including a predatory wasp, for SLF management.

Populations of SLF are currently known to be established in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and New Jersey. SLF has been found in Maryland, New York, and Connecticut but is not believed to be established. Spread of SLF continues to be a great concern, due to the wide host range the pest can affect.

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