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Illinois Bids Farewell To Asian Longhorned Beetles

By Margaret Lyons in News on Apr 17, 2008 11:06PM

2008_4_17.beetle.jpgToday's a big day for pest control: The USDA, the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the City announced today that we're the first state to eradicate the Asian longhorned beetle. Go us!

ALBs, as they're known, first appeared in Chicago about 10 years ago. The most recent infestation was in 2003, but since then, despite what the USDA calls "active surveys," no one's seen any, which means they're gone. ALBs can destroy entire trees if the infestation is severe enough, and the USDA calls them a "serious pest." Insert "little sister" jokes here.

Between 1998 and 2006, approximately 1,771 host trees were removed to destroy the invasive insect. In Illinois, ALB quarantine zones have existed in numerous Chicago neighborhoods, including Oz Park, Ravenswood, Kilbourn Park, Loyola, Park Ridge, O'Hare, Addison and Summit. As many as 35 square miles were quarantined for the pest in and around Chicago, with 61 square miles considered infested and surveyed for signs of beetles. The last chemical treatments took place in the Oz Park area in 2006.

Suck on THAT, invasive species! [USDA, APHIS, from whence the photo came]