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Tree-killing beetle gone from Manhattan, Staten Island

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An Asian longhorned beetle (USDA photo) An Asian longhorned beetle (USDA photo)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The tree-killing Asian longhorned beetle has been eradicated from Manhattan and Staten Island, but remains a problem in Brooklyn, Queens, and parts of Long Island, according to state agriculture officials.

"The stakes are high, but make no mistake -- we are winning the fight against [Asian longhorned beetle] in New York," Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine said in a statement. "This announcement is indeed exciting news for not only Staten Island and Manhattan, but for all New York because it proves what can be done when dedicated efforts are made to combat invasive species."

The beetle was first spotted in the United States in Brooklyn in 1996, officials said. The beetle came from East Asian inside solid wood packaging that was used in imported cargo.

The Asian longhorned beetle, which is about an inch to an inch and a half long, has shiny black with white spots and long antennae. It bores into trees, killing them.

Because the beetle has no natural predator, if allowed to survive and thrive it can have a devastating effect on industries that depend heavily on wood, such as lumber, maple syrup, nursery, and tourism, agriculture officials said. The beetle can also hurt native wildlife habitats, disrupt local ecosystems, damage parks and forests, and devastate trees in residential neighborhoods and on private property.

Agriculture officials said that the beetle remains a problem in Brooklyn, Queens, and central Long Island.

The only way to get rid of the beetle is to cut down infested trees and burn or chip them, according to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. That is why parks officials urge to public to call them at 877-STOP-ALB if you see signs of an infestation.  

http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/

http://www.nycgovparks.org/trees/beetle-alert

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/asian_lhb/

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