Gov. Eric Holcomb has proclaimed this week, Feb. 27-March 3, as Invasive Species Awareness Week in Indiana, an important reminder for Hoosiers to watch for potentially devastating pests.
There are several invasive species causing significant damage to Indiana’s natural resources, according to State Entomologist Megan Abraham, who is the director of the DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology. She listed emerald ash borer, kudzu, hydrilla, and purple loosestrife as a few examples.
“Several more are close enough to our state to cause concern, including the Asian long-horned beetle (ALB) which has been found as close as Cincinnati,” she said. “It’s the species like ALB that we have not spotted in Indiana that we need the public to help us watch for.”
ALB attacks hardwood tree species. Maple is its preferred host, and is also the most common street tree in Indiana’s cities. Signs of ALB start to show about 3 to 4 years after infestation. Tree death occurs in 10 to 15 years.
Adult beetles are 1 to 1.5 inches in length, with long antennae. Their bodies are black with small white spots, and their antennae are banded in black and white.
Adults can be seen from April to December. Trees with round exit holes, approximately three-eighths of an inch in diameter, are signs of ALB presence. Sawdust-like material can be found at the trunk and branch bases of infested trees.
If you see an ALB or signs of it, call the DNR at (317) 232-4120 with the date and location. If you can capture the beetle, put it in a plastic jar and put the jar in a freezer to kill the ALB. Carefully wrap the beetle and send it to: Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology; 402 W. Washington Street, Room W290; Indianapolis, IN 46204.
You can also file a report using a free mobile app that is available on iTunes and GooglePlay. The app provides identification information and links to a national invasive species reporting network. For more information on the app, see youtube.com/watch?v=