Secretary of Agriculture Charles
M. Kuperus announced today that the Asian longhorned
beetle - which attacks and kills maples and other hardwood
trees -- has been detected for the first time in New
Jersey in Jersey City.
The N.J. Department of Agriculture (NJDA) will
quarantine the affected 9-acre site and the surrounding
area within a 1-1/2 mile radius to prevent the beetle's
"The experience of other states has shown
that public cooperation is key to effectively eradicating
this highly destructive insect," said Kuperus. "If
not controlled, the Asian longhorned beetle could
have devastating effects on forested areas and residential
trees in New Jersey and throughout the Northeast.
Therefore, it is critical that everyone assist in
this effort by reporting potential infestations and
cooperating with state and federal authorities working
to control this pest."
The quarantine will restrict the movement of firewood,
green lumber and other living, dead, cut or fallen
material, including nursery stock, logs, stumps,
roots and branches, from potential host trees. These
items may be moved within the quarantined area but
not outside of it.
"I am grateful to Secretary Kuperus for acting
quickly to address this potential devastating threat
to the state's forest resources," said Department
of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley
M. Campbell. "The DEP will work cooperatively
with state and federal agricultural officials to
ensure that we eradicate this pest."
The Asian longhorned beetle, which is native to
China and prevalent in Japan and Korea, has caused
serious tree losses in New York state and Chicago.
The beetle was first spotted in Jersey City by
someone who saw it fly onto a tree. A later news
report called his attention to the potential threat
of the Asian longhorned beetle. He contacted the
NJDA, and state and federal agricultural inspectors
confirmed the beetle's presence on Thursday. Based
on an initial survey, it appears that approximately
100 trees are affected within a 9-acre area just
north of the Newport Parkway and just east of Washington
Boulevard. The source of the infestation is unknown.
State and federal agricultural officials have inspected
potential host trees within a quarter-mile radius
of the affected site and found no evidence of further
infestation. Inspectors now are checking potential
host trees within one-half mile.
USDA officials have determined that the Asian longhorned
beetle first entered the United States inside solid
wood packing material from China. It was first discovered
in this country in 1996 in the Greenpoint area of
Brooklyn. The beetle was found in Central Park in
Since 1997, the NJDA and USDA have conducted annual
surveys for the Asian longhorned beetle in northeastern
New Jersey. The Department currently is surveying
plots within a 25-mile radius of the New York infestation.
In light of this week's discovery, more intensive
monitoring of every potential host tree within a
1-1/2-mile radius of the Jersey City infestation
will be conducted every year to ensure the beetle
has been eradicated. Effective methods for eradicating
the beetle include removal of infested trees and
chemical treatment of surrounding, non-infested host
The beetles are about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in length,
are black and shiny with white spots, and have long
distinguishable antennae that are banded with black
and white. They attack many different hardwood trees,
primarily maple (Norway, sugar, silver and red),
but also horsechestnut, willow, elm and boxelder.
To lay her eggs, the female beetle chews small
oval or round niches in the outer bark of the tree.
When immature worm-like beetles hatch, they bore
into trunks and branches and create immense tunnels
for themselves inside the trees. The adult beetles
chew their way out, usually in late spring or early
summer, leaving round exit holes about the size of
a dime in their wake.
Signs of Asian longhorned beetle infestation include:
-- large round holes anywhere on the tree, including
branches, trunk and exposed roots;
-- oval to round, darkened wounds in the bark;
-- large piles of coarse sawdust around the base
of trees or where branches meet the main stem.
Anyone who suspects the presence of the Asian longhorned
beetle should contact the NJDA at (609) 292-5440.
For more information on the Asian longhorned beetle,
including photos, visit the USDA's Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service web site at www.aphis.usda.gov.
Under Hot Issues, click on the Asian longhorned beetle.