Friday, 03 June 2011 00:00
Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Joe Muscarella reminds residents in the Asian Longhorned Beetle quarantine area to be on the alert for infestations of the beetle.
The quarantine area in the town covers most of the Massapequa/North Massapequa area, inclusive of several blocks north of Southern State Parkway, several blocks west of Broadway/North Broadway, east to the town line and south to Great South Bay.
“So far, the town’s efforts to keep the Asian Longhorned Beetle from spreading beyond the quarantine area have been successful, due, in part, to the vigilance of our residents,” Muscarella said. “But, we must remain on the alert if we are to preserve the remaining trees in the quarantine area and prevent it from advancing into new areas.”
Muscarella went on to say that Asian Longhorned Beetles were first discovered in areas of Massapequa and Amityville in 1996. A quarantine was imposed to regulate the movement of wood from the areas to stem the spread of the beetle.
The councilman indicated that the beetle’s trees of choice are hardwoods and urged residents to keep an eye out for the verdure varmint. “The beetle is very distinctively marked,” he said. “It has a 1 to 1-1/4 inch long body with two horn-shaped antennae (feelers) that are longer than the body. The body is shiny black with white spots and the antennae are banded black and white. The plate-shaped feet are black with a whitish-blue upper surface. It has wings and can fly for short distances.
“The Asian Longhorned Beetle’s calling card is also easily recognizable,” he continued. “It leaves large round holes in branches, trunks or roots where it exits the tree. There may be large piles of sawdust around the base of a tree or excessive sap oozing from the tree caused by a beetle exiting from inside. There may also be oval, darkened places in the bark where females chew out a spot to lay their eggs.”
Muscarella noted that the Asian Longhorned Beetle is most active between June and September, but can be present as early as May and as late as October. To report a beetle sighting, contact the Cooperative Asian Longhorned Beetle Program at 1-866-265-0301.
“The beautiful trees that line our streets and grace our parks and yards are an important part of what makes the Town of Oyster Bay so special,” Muscarella added. “The town takes great pride in its tree resources, which is evidenced in the fact that we have been a ‘Tree City USA’ for the past 21 years. The Asian Longhorned Beetle is a scourge to our hardwood trees, because it has no known natural predator and once a tree is infested, the only remedy is to destroy it. So far, our efforts to stop the beetles’ spread in our town have been effective, but we must continue to be on the alert.”