WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared August “Tree Check Month” for Asian Longhorned Beetles (ALB).

August is the month when people are most likely to find adult beetles, according to the USDA.

The push is part of the USDA’s effort to eradicate the invasive species from the United States. The ALB causes irreversible damage to 12 types of trees by feeding on the tree from the inside out.

Currently, there are known infestations in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina. However, teh USDA is warning residents that the ALB can exist anywhere in the country since all states have trees that the ALB feeds upon.

To check for ALBs, residents should inspect trees for the following:

  • Round exit holes in tree trunks and branches about the size of a dime or smaller.
  • Egg sites that are shallow, oval or round wounds in the bark where sap might weep.
  • Sawdust-like material called frass found on the ground around the tree or on the branches.
  • Branches or limbs falling from an otherwise healthy-looking tree. 

If a tree is exhibiting the above symptoms, keep an eye out for an ALB, which has distinct characteristics:

  • A shiny black body with white spots that is about 1” to 1-1/2” long.
  • Black and white antennae that are longer than the insect’s body.
  • Six legs and feet that can appear bluish in color.

Infested trees should be quarantined and reported by calling 1-866-702-9938 or at this link.