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Did You Spot the Beetle?

Posted by Rhonda Santos, APHIS' Public Information Officer for the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program in Animals Plants
Feb 21, 2017
Staff from the ALB Ohio Eradication Program with the wrapped Volkswagen beetle
Staff from the ALB Ohio Eradication Program with the wrapped Volkswagen beetle.

…the Volkswagen beetle that is. You might have if you were in Ohio the last few weeks. 

As part of the efforts to raise awareness about the invasive Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), a non-native insect originating from Asia that is attacking and killing out native U.S. trees, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) wrapped a Volkswagen beetle to look like Asian longhorned beetle.  The moving advertisement was part of a campaign meant to help inform residents about the beetle infestation in Ohio.

APHIS is fighting the Asian longhorned beetle infestation in Ohio with the goal of eliminating all of the insects.  The eradication program believes that informed residents serve as the best survey tool available to the program, as new infested sites have repeatedly been identified and reported by the general public.  Plus, finding an infestation early means that the infestation could remain small, which in turn allows for the greatest chance of success in eliminating the insect from the area.

The ALB Volkswagen began its journey in Ohio in August and continued traveling through the first week of September.  It moved along Cincinnati area commuter routes, and made stops at the Great American Ballpark, farmer’s markets, state parks, and other community locations. 

Even if you weren’t in Ohio, it’s not too late to check your trees for the real Asian longhorned beetle.  Take a 10-minute walk around your yard or neighborhood and inspect your trees. If you see any signs, report them here or by calling 1-866-702-9938.  Things you can do to help stop the insect from killing more trees include:

A quick tree check in your yard or neighborhood could help spot the beetle and the damage it causes early enough to prevent it from spreading.

Category/Topic: Animals Plants

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john phoebus
Sep 21, 2015

Yahweh invented those beetles. yup.

Mark Castator
Sep 23, 2015

I spent about 4 hours along the river and bordering streets inspecting with binoculars in August and early September. No sign found. We are about 6 miles downstream from Stonelick.
Mark Castator
Village of Terrace Park - Urban Forester

Doug Simmons
Sep 25, 2015

Never saw it or heard of a visit by the VW in the epicenter of the Ohio ALB infestation, Bethel. So I don't really see how they are raising awareness if they can't even drive it where it would be most effective. Waste of money.

Oct 05, 2015

Do these beetles bite? After spending several hours trying to find anything that looked like that bit me,this is closest picture that I saw.It stung like a hot needle.