Asian long-horned beetle is spreading via wooden packaging material
Asian long-horned beetles (Anoplophora glabripennis) use a wide variety of host trees. Finnish deciduous trees that can become infested include, for instance, aspen, poplar, willow, maple, birch, alder, apple and pear trees. The big larvae live in the tree trunk and chew large tunnels in the trunk. As a consequence, branches wither and the whole tree may die.
The Asian long-horned beetle is a large beetle, approx. 2.5 – 3.5 cm long. It is black with white spots. Its antennae are striped and longer than its body.
Check wooden pallets for sawdust and tunnels, larvae and adult beetles
Wooden packaging material for stones carries an especially high risk in view of the spreading of the Asian long-horned beetle. Large amounts of paving stones and garden tiles, for instance, are imported from China where Asian long-horned beetles are common. The stones and packaging material may originate from China even though they are imported from another EU member state.
In recent years, Asian long-horned beetle has been detected in Finland on two occasions – both of them in imported consignments of paving stones and tiles. These beetles have been found also in many other EU member states. Recently, larvae of this species were detected in stone packaging in Holland. In April a population of Asian long-horned beetles was found in England, where the beetle had infested several deciduous trees from a company importing stones.
Importers and other companies which handle wooden packaging material are advised to monitor the packaging materials for Asian long-horned beetles. The possible presence of Asian long-horned beetles must also be taken into account in paving gardens and yards in private one-family houses. Evira must be notified if one detects sawdust, tunnels, larvae or adult beetles. The packaging material may be infested with larvae or beetles even though it bears the mark of compliance (”wheat stamp”), in accordance with the international ISPM 15 standard, for being treated to prevent the spread of insects.
Plants of Japanese maples may host Anoplophora chinensis
Citrus longhorn beetle Anoplophora chinensis, which is related to Anoplophora glabripennis, Asian long-horned beetle, is spreading through the trade of plants. It looks about the same as the Asian long-horned beetle and spreads especially through the plants of Japanese maples, which are imported from China to EU countries. Garden centres and nursery gardens are instructed to inspect Japanese maple plants for beetles. A round exit hole near the base of the trunk, sawdust on the butt, ailing growth and wounds on the bark are giveaway signs of the presence of these beetles.
Evira and ELY-centres’ plant inspectors carry out market surveillance and spot checks of wooden packaging material and plants.
Report beetle findings or suspected findings to Evira: kasvinterveys evira.fi
Further information and photos of the beetle species:
Evira.fi > Plants > Cultivation and Production > Plant pests and diseases > Quarantine pests and diseases > Anoplophora species
Otto Hukka, Senior Inspector, Evira, tel. +358 29530 5160