From: Reuters
Published April 17, 2008 06:51 PM

Asian longhorned beetle eradicated in Illinois

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Asian longhorned beetle, a tree-killing pest, has been eradicated in Illinois, U.S., state and local officials said on Thursday.

Illinois is the first state to declare success against the insect. The beetle was discovered in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago in 1998. There have been no signs of the invasive pest in four years.

Eradication efforts were under way in parts of New York and in central New Jersey.

"This successful eradication would not have been possible without the solid partnership between federal, state and local governments fighting (the beetle) in Illinois," said U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Bruce Knight in a statement.

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Between 1998 and 2006, approximately 1,771 trees were removed to destroy the invasive insect in Chicago. Chemical treatments also were used against the beetle.

USDA currently is working with its state and local government partners to eradicate ALB in parts of New York and in central New Jersey.

The Asian longhorned beetle is about 1.5 inches long and shiny black with antenna up to twice the length of their bodies, banded in black and white. It favors maple, birch, elm and poplar trees, among others, as its hosts

(Reporting by Charles Abbott; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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