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The Asian Longhorned Beetle

The Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)is a voracious feeder. It chews its way into trees and its way back out. The telltale signs of Asian longhorned beetle infestation are the beetles themselves and the large exit holes they leave in trees. What people do not usually see are the huge channels calls "galleries" they carve inside the tree. These tunnels weaken and eventually kill the tree.

The Asian longhorned beetle is native to China. It was first discovered in New York City in 1996 and later found in Chicago in 1998. Scientists believe this pest came to the United States on Asian ships. The vector for this spread were wooden shipping cates made form trees that already contained Asian longhorned beetle larvae. When they arrived here, the insects left the dead scrap lumber and went found they really liked maple trees, attacking at least six species. Many other tree species are also targeted by the beetles.

A little insect can cause some big problems. The arrival of the Asian longhorned beetle resulted in loos of trees and the wildlife that used those trees for the habitat. The loos of trees also means loss of trees for habitat. The loss of trees also means loss of shade, potentially, leading to higher city temperatures. Limbs or entire trees weakened by the beetle are dangerous because they could fall on people. Since Asian longhorned beetles preferred maple trees, this means a loss of maple syrup products and furniture wood. It can even be a threat to tourism if the beautiful fall leaf colors are reduced.