Asian longhorned beetle found in Deerfield

August 11, 2008 3:54:34 PM PDT
Four months ago, it was announced that Illinois had won the battle against the Asian longhorned beetle. Now there's evidence of a possible new infestation.

One of the tree-killing insects has been discovered in north suburban Deerfield.

The United States Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Department of Agriculture have confirmed that a beetle found in a shopping mall parking lot in Deerfield on Friday, August 1 is an Asian longhorned beetle. Officials are now trying to determine whether the beetle survived eradication efforts five years ago or represents a new infestation. They say all they have at this point is one specimen and a number of questions.

The Asian longhorned beetle was discovered in a parking lot near the intersection of Waukegan and Lake Cook Road by a patron of the Lake Cook Plaza Mall in Deerfield . The patron recovered it and turned it in to the appropriate authorities.

"It was located on a tire. The gentleman picked it up, put it in a can and sent it to the Deerfield Public Works and they confirmed it as being an Asian longhorned beetle," said Stephen Knight, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The village of Deerfield is cooperating with federal and state officials.

"They have just indicated they are underway and would be advising us if there were any discovers made and what next steps would need to be taken from there," said Philip Kiraly, Deerfield Village Manager.

The Asian longhorned beetle is a large insect ranging from one to one-and-a-half inches in length and antennae which can be as long as four inches . The insects are black and shiny with white spots. The United States Department of Agriculture together with the Illinois Department of Agriculture has inspectors in Deerfield surveying hardwood trees, including maple, willow,elm and birch within a half-mile radius of where the insect was found. The survey consists of trees located in commercial, industrial and residential developments. ABC7 has learned that officials will expand their survey if necessary.

"We are supporting the Illinois Department of Agriculture in their lead as far as determining where or if we do have an enfestation," said Knight.

USDA says that it is too early to tell if any trees on public or private lands in Deerfield are in danger of infestation.

"We have one specimen. We are out looking for possible infestation," said Knight.

Last April, the Asian longhorned beetle was declared eradicated in the Chicago area after a significant tree removal program was believed to have been successful in eliminating the insect.

"We have opportunities, we have the technique and the technology to eradicate," said Knight.

The United States Department of Agriculture is also looking at import and shipping procedures in the area to determine if the Asian longhorned beetle was transported to Deerfield from elsewhere. The goal is to identify the core of the infestation and to determine how large it is and then to take appropriate measures to address it. Officials are asking the public to call 847-699-2424 if they spot an Asian longhorned beetle.


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