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Help us track down the killer beetles

An important message from the USDA and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Our region’s trees are under attack. Help us track down the killer beetles.


The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle and Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) have destroyed millions of trees throughout the United States. The USDA and MassHort are partnering to ask MassHort members to participate in the Volunteer EAB/ALB Forest Pest Survey. We need your help to determine if these damaging forest pests are in communities in and around Boston.

The EAB and ALB most likely arrived in the United States inside solid wood packing material from Asia. Since their discovery, infestations of ALB have been reported in four states and infestations of EAB in 13 states. In 2008, an infestation was found in central Worcester County. As widely reported, five trees near the Arnold Arboretum were found last week to have ALBs.

Be an ace beetle detective. Start searching today.

You can help us stop the spread of the beetles — and the devastation to our forests, parks and neighborhoods — by searching your community for signs of both beetles. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Review the attached fact sheets to become familiar with the EAB and ALB as well as signs of damage. Take the fact sheets for reference when you search.

Emerald Ash Borer Fact Sheet
Asian Longhorned Beetle Fact Sheet

2. Locate host trees in your search area. The EAB lives in ash trees and the ALB lives in hardwood trees, particularly maple, birch, horsechestnut, willow and elm. Carefully examine each tree for signs of infestation. Take notes on the following:

  • Area searched.
  • Types of trees examined.
  • Descriptions of any beetles or signs of infestation detected. It is also helpful to take pictures of the insects or damage to your trees.

3. Report both positive and negative sightings online at BeetleDetectives.com. Negative sightings help confirm that the beetles were not found in your area. Make sure you indicate your organization’s name on the online reporting form.

Help MassHort’s members become top-ranked beetle detectives.

BeetleDetectives.com, will rank participating organizations based on the reports their members submit. If you know other people who would like to help protect our trees, forward this email to them and ask them to report their findings as an individual.

Thanks in advance for helping protect America’s trees!

Michael Opton
Director of Marketing and Membership
Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Patricia M. Douglass
State Plant Health Director
USDA/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Kenneth Gooch
Director of Forest Health
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

About the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Mass Hort logo newFounded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and developing the public's enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment.

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