…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:
- Check your trees and know what to look for.
- Invite friends and family to go on a tree check walk to look for signs of infestation.
- Get to know all the facts:
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.