The Missouri Department of Conservation urges all Missourians to check trees for Asian long-horned beetle. This invasive, wood-boring insect can feed on more than 20 different species of trees common to Missouri, according to a press release.
Missouri currently has no known Asian long-horned beetle infestations, but populations of this destructive species can be found in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina. In order to control the spread of this insect, thousands of trees have been destroyed in each of these states. One way to prevent a local infestation is to not move firewood long distances from where it was harvested.
The best time of year to look for signs is late summer, when tree damage caused by the pest is most visible. The beetle’s preferred host tree is red maple, but other trees can be attacked, including boxelder, buckeye, willow, elm, ash, birch, sycamore, mimosa, mountain ash, golden raintree, and most maple species.
Take an evening stroll through your yard or neighborhood, keeping an eye out for the large, showy beetle and the damage it causes to trees.
What to look for: large beetles with black, shiny bodies and white spots with antennae that are long with black and white stripes.
Tree signs and symptoms of an infestation include: large, round exit holes; fine wood shavings collecting around the trunk or on branches; and leaves on some branches showing fall colors early.
Report suspect beetles and infested trees by sending photos to MDC’s Forest Health staff at Forest.Health@mdc.mo.gov.