ALB battle in South Carolina

Exit holes and internal damage from Asian longhhorned beetle. Courtesy of USDA APHIS.

In early November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Clemson University’s Department of Plant Industry (DPI) announced their plans for combatting the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) in Charleston County, South Carolina. In June, APHIS and DPI confirmed the beetle is infesting trees in the county.

The eradication strategy in South Carolina will be like those used for other ALB infestations in the U.S. It includes establishing a quarantine, removing infested trees and potentially using, with the landowner’s permission, a combination of tree removal and chemical treatment for trees that are within a half-mile radius of an infested tree.

APHIS and DPI have quarantined 58.6 square miles within Charleston County to prevent the spread of ALB to other areas. The regulated area includes portions of Hollywood, Ravenel, Adams Run, Johns Island and Charleston. By law, people may not move regulated items, such as firewood (all hardwood species), nursery stock, logs, branches, etc., out of the area without a compliance agreement, permit or certificate. Anyone who conducts commercial work on such items in the regulated area must enter into a compliance agreement with the ALB eradication program. To register for the free compliance training, call 1-866-702-9938.

APHIS and its contractor, Davey Resource Group, were scheduled to begin removing infested trees on November 16, 2020. Chemical treatments will not be used this year, but will be considered next year.

Report the insect or tree damage by calling the ALB hotline at 1-866-702-9938 or online at www.AsianLonghornedBeetle.com.

Currently, 278.1 square miles are regulated for ALB in the United States: 58.6 square miles within Charleston County; 53 square miles in central Long Island, New York; 110 square miles in Worcester County, Massachusetts; and 56.5 square miles in Clermont County, Ohio. APHIS and its state partners have successfully eradicated ALB from Illinois; New Jersey; Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and Islip, N.Y.; Boston, Mass.; and Stonelick and Monroe Townships in Ohio.

More information on ALB is available at the following website: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/pests-diseases/asian-longhorned-beetle.

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