First discovered in Amityville in 1996, Asian Longhorned Beetles are destructive wood-boring pests that feed on hardwood. To prevent the infestation from spreading, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a federal order to quarantine the area, which had previously extended through to Massapequa.
Now, as the result of a recent infestation reported in areas surrounding the Republic Airport in Farmingdale, the Department of Agriculture has extended its quarantine area to include areas up to Rt. 109 and Main Street through to Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage.
“We have increased our quarantine area extensively,” said Joe Gittleman, who works with the USDA’s Asian Longhorned Beetle Cooperative Eradication Project.
According to Gittleman, the Amityville quarantine area has grown to a total of 51 square miles. Meanwhile, quarantines in Islip, as well as Manhattan and Staten Island, have been declared eradicated by the USDA.
“Given the new detection of ALB on Long Island, the eradication program will focus on survey efforts in and around the newly affected area,” said Josie Ryan, national operations manager for the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program.
Surveys of the quarantined area will continue to be performed to detect any infestations and any infested trees will continue to be removed. Since 1996, 6,381 infested trees and 12,183 high-risk host trees have been removed in New York State.
Gittleman reminds residents that when hiring someone to take down any trees, to make sure they are certified to work in the ALB quarantine area, so it does not spread the infestation further.
Anyone who witnesses the ALB are urged to call 1-866-702-9938 or visit www.asianlonghornedbeetle.com/report-your-findings to report it.