Asian Longhorn beetle outbreak in Kent

posted on April 20, 2012
Asian longhorn leaflet

Asian longhorn beetle leaflet

Forest Research and the Food & Environment Research Agency (Fera) are working to eradicate a breeding population of Asian longhorn beetle found in the Paddock Wood area of Maidstone in Kent.

The Asian longhorn beetle, native to China, poses a serious threat to a wide range of broadleaved trees. It has caused extensive damage to trees in the USA and Italy since being accidentally introduced there in recent years.

The existence of this population was confirmed first by Forest Research scientists in March.Today it was confirmed the larvae (grubs) of Asian longhorn beetle were found on 22 trees in the area and five more are considered highly likely to be infested. The infestation zone (i.e. the area within a 100m radius of each infested tree) currently covers about 8 hectares (20 acres or 80,000m2).

Asian longhorn beetles can infest a wide range of broadleaved trees and shrubs. The larvae feed undetected on the inside of the host tree or shrub, which could kill it or leave it weakened and susceptible to further pest and disease damage. Although the larvae are unlikely to emerge as adult beetles before the end of June in the UK, it is important that we remove all infested and potentially infested trees as early as possible before then. They would be a serious threat to UK woodland if they became established.

Find out more on the Forestry Commission’s webpage on the Asian Longhorn beetle. Please note that Fera must be notified of sightings of beetles or other evidence of infestation by ALB, such as exit holes in the trunk of host plants. There is a legal obligation to report the beetle or suspicious signs included in the Plant Health (England) Order 2005 and the Plant Health (Forestry) Order 2005.

Read more about our work to combat tree pests and diseases at www.TreeWatch.com


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