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Using Traps to Detect Asian Longhorned Beetle

Posted: June 6, 2011

This summer, researchers from the U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station and Penn State University will join forces to place 500 pheromone traps for Asian longhorned beetles (ALB) in the communities of Worcester, West Boylston, Boylston, Shrewsbury, and Holden, Massachusetts. The traps will be hung in the lower canopy of trees from June until September. In the past two years, this trap has caught beetles and additional infested trees have been found after a re-survey near areas where they were trapped.

Pheromones, which are chemicals produced and used by insects to communicate with each other, are being used to lure ALB to the trap. In addition to ALB male produced pheromone, we are also using the natural smell of green maple leaves as a lure in the traps; both are natural products. The solution in the cup at the bottom is a saturated salt solution with a couple drops of dish washing liquid added, which will safely kill the beetles that fall into it. The traps will be hung out of reach and we will check them once every two weeks. There is a trap identification number on the bottom of the trap and a phone number to call should anything cause the trap to fall, or if you have questions about this project.

The project is being funded by the USDA Forest Service and the Alphawood Foundation. The following groups are also collaborating on this project: USDA Agricultural Research Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. (PDF)

For more information on ALB visit these websites:

http://www.massnrc.org/PESTS/alb/ or
http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/disturbance/invasive_species/alb/ or
the USDA ALB Informational website: http://www.beetlebusters.info