Anton Community Newspapers  •  132 East 2nd Street  •  Mineola, NY 11501  •  Phone: 516-747-8282  •  FAX: 516-742-5867
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Editorial: Nothing Fab About These Beetles

One of Garden City’s greatest assets is its wealth of arboreal magnificence. That said, one threat looming on the horizon is the infestation of Asian longhorned beetles (ALB) that apparently is moving northwards from the South Shore. It’s a threat that shouldn’t be taken lightly. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the ALB can destroy 70 percent of an area’s tree canopy. Currently, the USDA is putting nearly 50 square miles of Long Island under quarantine and with federal cutbacks having considerably thinned down the ranks of the department’s ground force, vigilance by residents is a crucial component in helping to eradicate this scourge. Even if you wind up not seeing the actual ALBs, warning signs to look for include the numerous exit holes that dot tree trunks along with frass, the sawdust by-product that ALBs push out of their exit holes as they burrow into their hosts. Hardwoods are a favorite of these pests, so be sure to take a look at any species of ash, palne tree, poplar, willow, birch, elm or sugar maple for any signs of infestation. Sadly, for trees that have been affected, removal of them winds up being the surest manner of dealing with the ALBs once they’ve infiltrated an area. Hopefully, between the USDA’s efforts and vigilance of local gardeners and homeowners, the ALB will wind up being defeated.

— Dave Gil de Rubio