Longhorned Beetle

The longhorned beetle (LHB) is a wood-boring insect native to China and Korea. It was first seen in the US in the mid-1990s, possibly introduced on shipping crates or in wooden packing materials.  It has spread to new areas since its initial detection. To date, it has not been found in the SLELO-PRISM.

This beetle targets many species of hardwood trees, including birch, elm, horse chestnut, maple, sycamore, and willow.


LHB larvae bore through the woody tissue of many species of hardwood. This disrupts the flow of nutrients and water through the tree. Eventually, the tree weakens and dies from the infestation.

Because the LHB targets several species of hardwood, the impacts of its infestation could be severe. Hardwood trees are used for lumber, furniture, and building homes. Maple syrup production could also be impacted. Most of our local, state, and federal parks contain many of these species. Backyards, gardens, and nursery stock will also be affected.

Life Cycle: 

Long-horned beetles have four life stages. Adult females chew depressions into the bark and lay eggs into these depressions. When the eggs hatch, the larvae eat into the tree, boring a tunnel as they feed on the wood. These tunnels, also called galleries, create gaps in the wood, making it hard for nutrients and water to flow from the roots to the crown. This causes the tree to weaken over time and, eventually, die.

The larvae pupate under the bark layer and emerge as adult beetles. The adults chew through the bark to get out of the tree, creating 3/8 inch, round holes that may ooze sap or sawdust, called frass. (The holes can look similar to holes made by maple syrup spiles, which are usually located at breast height around a tree.)



Adult LHB are 1 to 1/2 inches long. They are black with white spots and very long antennae. Their feet are bluish. Adults can be seen from June through October. They spend this time finding mates and laying eggs.


To control the LHB, host trees are removed and destroyed. Areas, where it is found, are quarantined. Watch “Lurking in the Trees”, a video that shows what happened in Wooster, Mass. when LHB was found there. The video was produced by the Hamburger Company and can be found at the top of the page.

Don’t Move Firewood! Since 2009, NY State has regulated the transport of untreated firewood within the state to under 50 miles. When camping or traveling, “Burn it Where You Buy It!” to prevent the spread of LHB and other harmful insects.

Actions Taken to Stop the Spread
  • International standards have been set that require wooden packing materials to be chemically treated or kiln-dried to help stop new introductions from occurring.
  • Quarantines have been established around infested areas to prevent the movement of infested materials.
  • The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets has taken the lead on surveying for infested trees, tree removal, and tree treatment to eradicate the LHB populations in New York City and on Long Island.
How You Can Help
  • Adhere to the NYS firewood regulation which limits untreated firewood movement to no more than 50 miles and obey the rules of the LHB quarantines which prevent firewood and any regulated materials from leaving those areas. See NYS Agriculture and Markets website for more information.
  • If you have a pool, you can participate in the LHB Swimming Pool Survey. Whenever you clean your pool, check your filter and skimmers for anything that resembles LHB. Send a photo of what you find to foresthealth@dec.ny.gov.

If you believe you have found LHB:

  • Take pictures of the infestation signs as described above (include something for scale such as a coin or ruler);
  • Note the location (intersecting roads, landmarks, or GPS coordinates); then
  • Email DEC Forest Health at foresthealth@dec.ny.gov; OR
  • Call the LHB tip line at 1-866-702-9938; OR
  • Report the infestation to iMapInvasives.

Photo Credits: 

Title photo: Long Island Press https://www.longislandpress.com/2014/07/09/tree-eating-asian-longhorned-beetle-back-on-long-island/.Identification photo: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/node/2558.


Informative Video Short: Spread by trade and climate, bugs butcher America’s forests

Sentinel Plant Network: Detection and Diagnosis of Significant Plant Pests and Disease: view videos

NYIS: LHB page: http://www.nyis.info/index.php?action=invasive_detail&id=26

USDA APHIS: LHB page: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/asian_lhb/index.shtml

USDA Forest Service LHB page: http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/alb/

Don’t Move Firewood: Gallery of Pests: http://www.dontmovefirewood.org/gallery-of-pests/asian-long-horned-beetle.html


Prevent the introduction of invasive species into the SLELO PRISM.

Rapidly detect new and recent invaders and eliminate all individuals within a specific area.

Share resources, including funding personnel, equipment, information, and expertise.

Collect, utilize, and share information regarding surveys, infestations, control methods, monitoring, and research.

Control invasive species infestations by using best management practices, methods and techniques to include: ERADICATION (which is to eliminate all individuals and the seed bank from an area), CONTAINMENT (which is reducing the spread of established infestations from entering an uninfested area) and SUPPRESSION which is to reduce the density but not necessarily the total infested area.

Develop and implement effective restoration methods for areas that have been degraded by invasive species and where suppression or control has taken place.

Increase public awareness and understanding of invasive species.

Develop and implement innovative technologies that help us to better understand, visualize, alleviate or manage invasive species and their impacts or that serve to strengthen ecosystem function and/or processes.

Rob Williams                              rwilliams@tnc.org                     Program Director

Megan Pistolese megan.pistolese@tnc.org
Outreach and Education

Brittney Rogers brittney.rogers@tnc.org 
Aquatic Invasive Species

Robert Smith       robert.l.smith@tnc.org 
Terrestrial Invasive Species

Zachary Simek    zachary.simek@TNC.ORG     Conservation and GIS Analyst

During this time the best way to contact our team is via email.