Seen a Beetle in Your Pool?

State asks for help identifying invaders

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is asking pool owners to keep an eye out in August for Asian longhorned beetles.

During late summer, the beetles emerge from trees as adults. The goal of the survey is to locate infestations of the invasive pests before they cause serious damage to forests and street trees, the DEC said.

An Asian longhorned beetle

“Most invasive forest pest infestations have been discovered and reported by members of the public,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos in a statement.

The DEC said pool owners to periodically check filters for insects that resemble the beetle and email photos to foresthealth@dec.ny.gov or mail the insects to the DEC Forest Health Diagnostics Lab, Attn: Jessica Cancelliere, 108 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054.

The beetles are about 1.5 inches long, black with white spots, and have black and white antennae. They leave perfectly round exit holes about the size of a dime in branches and trunks of host trees and create sawdust-like material called frass that collects on branches and around the base of trees.

The beetles were introduced to the U.S. through wood-packing materials, the DEC said. They attack a variety of hardwoods, including maples, birches and willows. The state Department of Agriculture and Markets has eradicated them from most of New York City and Islip but there are infestations in Massachusetts, Ohio and South Carolina.

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