(TRENTON) – New Jersey Agriculture Secretary
Charles M. Kuperus today announced that public meetings
will be held Thursday, September 16 in Woodbridge and
Carteret to educate residents about the Asian longhorned
beetle, which has infested at least 400 trees in Carteret,
the Avenel section of Woodbridge and along Carteret’s
border with Rahway.
State and federal agriculture and forestry representatives who are leading
the hunt for the damaging beetles will attend the meetings scheduled
for 1:30 p.m. in Carteret and 7 p.m. in Woodbridge. Secretary Kuperus,
who moderated an August 31 meeting on the beetle in Carteret, will attend
the Woodbridge meeting on September 16.
“Our best line of defense against these invasive pests is to alert residents,
and these informational sessions allow residents to listen to the professionals
and ask questions,” said Secretary Kuperus. “The first sighting on
August 2 was by a resident in Carteret, and the news reports about the effort
to eradicate the beetle led another resident to notify us about what turned out
to be an even larger infestation.”
Asian longhorned beetles, native to China and Korea, have caused serious
tree losses in New York State and Chicago. Only once before were the
beetles found attacking trees in New Jersey, in Jersey City in October
2002. More than 100 infested trees at that site were removed to eradicate
Already, more than 400 trees have been found to be infested with both
adult beetles and eggs in Middlesex and Union Counties. A quarantine
zone, including Carteret, Woodbridge, Rahway and Linden has been established,
with restrictions on moving firewood, tree trimmings and other wood products.
The beetle can wreak havoc on hardwood trees such as maples, horsechestnuts,
birches and elms. The female bores into the bark to lay her eggs. Once
hatched, the grub-like young burrow deeper into the tree until finally
reaching the woody tissue. A year later, as adults, they burrow back
Asian longhorned beetles are about 1 to 1.5 inches long and have a shiny,
black exterior with whit spots. Their name comes from their long antennae,
which are banded black and white.
Anyone suspecting the presence of this beetle should contact the NJDA
at 1-866-BEETLE-1 or (609) 292-5440. For more information, visit the
APHIS website at www.aphis.usda.gov and
click on Asian longhorned beetle under “Hot Issues” or visit
the Rutgers Cooperative Extension website at www.rce.rutgers.edu/presentations and
click on Asian longhorned beetle under “Plant Agriculture.”
The Woodbridge information session will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, September
16 in the Council Chambers, Woodbridge Town Hall, 1 Main Street, Woodbridge.
The Carteret information session will be held 1:30 p.m. Thursday, September
16 at the Thomas Deverin Community Center, an annex to the borough library,
Cooke Avenue, Carteret.