Invasive Forest Pests
The Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Longhorned Beetle
- Both of these invasive beetles are thought to have arrived from Asia in hardwood packaging. Since neither is native to the United States, our trees are not prepared to fight off these bugs on their own. Human intervention is critical to prevent the loss of these trees. Dead or dying trees will pose a risk to public safety, decrease property values, increase electricity use during hot weather to compensate for the lack of shade and economic losses in the forestry and tourism industries. The Emerald Ash Borer targets ash trees and will kill them in 3 to 5 years. We use ash trees for a variety of products from baseball bats and hockey sticks to flooring and guitars. The Asian Longhorned Beetle attacks hardwood trees such as maple and birch. Losing these trees could be devastating to the maple syrup industry, forest-based recreation and tourism, as well as hardwood products such as furniture and lumber.
What You Can Do:
- We all need to be on the lookout for both of these invasive beetles. The information in this packet is geared towards elementary and secondary students so that they can be armed with information to help them identify these insects. The activities are appropriate for classrooms, camps and scouting groups. Educating youth will hopefully be a gateway to educating adults as well.
- Any possible sightings should be photographed and reported to www.nhbugs.org. A qualified forester will review the photographs to see if further investigation is necessary.
- Above all else, DO NOT MOVE FIREWOOD! Buying firewood where you will burn it will help reduce the spread of any infestation.
- Once an infestation has been located, there are some steps that can be taken.
- For the Emerald Ash Borer in Merrimack County, a quarantines is in place to prevent infested ash logs, mulch, nursery trees or hardwood firewood from being transported out of the county and starting new infestations. To move the anything capable of transporting Emerald Ash Borer out of the county requires a compliance agreement indicating that the material has been properly treated with heat or chemicals to prevent the spread of Emerald Ash Borer. If you find infested trees on your property, you can remove the infested trees and replace them with other species if desired. Another possibility is to have a licensed arborist apply chemical treatment to kill the beetles. Some of these treatments are highly effective. Your long term goals for your trees and your budget should help you to determine the best course of action.
- The Asian Longhorned Beetle has not yet been identified in New Hampshire, however, it is in Massachusetts, so we must be vigilant. If it does find its way into the state, the USDA will come in with an eradication program which could include whole host removal in the area where the beetle is detected.