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APHIS declares Boston area free of ALB

May 12, 2014 -  By

The U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) declared the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) was effectively eradicated from an area in Boston.

The beetle was discovered in Boston in July 2010. To control the pest, 10-square miles were regulated in Norfolk and Suffolk counties—an area that included the neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, Roxbury, West Roxbury and a portion of the town of Brookline.

This March, final inspection surveys of host trees confirmed the eradication of the beetle from the area. At just under four years, this confirmation marks the shortest eradication timeframe in the history of APHIS’s National ALB Eradication.

“The mission to eliminate this destructive beetle in Boston, combined with various levels of cooperation, has resulted in success,” said Osama El-Lissy, APHIS plant protection and quarantine deputy administrator. “However, while the eradication of this infestation is a victory for all of us, we ask that residents of Massachusetts stay vigilant in inspecting their trees regularly for signs of the beetle.”

APHIS and its partners removed six infested trees from one property and conducted multiple inspection surveys of more than 90,000 host trees. In May 2013, the eradication program completed its third and final cycle of chemical treatment applications on 2,000 host trees.

The eradication of ALB in Boston reduces the regulated areas in Massachusetts from 120 to 110 square miles. An ALB quarantine remains in effect in central Massachusetts, which includes the city of Worcester, the towns of West Boylston, Boylston, Shrewsbury and portions of Holden and Auburn.

LM Staff

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