Concern about the invasion of the Asian Longhorned Beetle has brought a flurry of calls and emails to the office of the USDA.
Rhonda Santos, legislative and public affairs for USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) Eradication Program, provided Patch with information to share with locals.
"We are hoping to keep residents informed as we’ve received some inquiries from residents being surprised we are surveying," said Santos, "even though we’ve been surveying in Shrewsbury for some time now. However, we do have more survey staff in Shrewsbury now than ever before."
Information about surveys in Shrewsbury:
USDA APHIS and Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation inspectors are working east of Boylston Street and north of Main Street in Shrewsbury up to the town of Boylston border. Contract inspectors, with federal or state monitors, are working south of Route 9. All contractor vehicles involved in the survey effort will have identifying signage and all inspectors, whether contractors or government inspectors, will be carrying official identification. The public can assist the eradication effort by allowing survey officials access to susceptible trees to evaluate any signs of ALB infestation.
For more information regarding the survey work, or for information on the Massachusetts cooperative eradication program in general, residents can call 508-852-8090. For information about the beetle and program activities, visit www.AsianLonghornedBeetle.com for additional information about ALB, including pictures, regulated area maps and where to report a suspected beetle or signs of damage.
Background on surveys for ALB:
The priority of the eradication program is to complete delimitation as soon as possible by surveying. Surveys are helping to determine the full extent of the Worcester county infestation. Survey inspection of host trees is completed by specially trained federal, state and contracted survey crews. Survey inspection is conducted by staff inspecting trees from the ground and by tree climbers climbing into the trees.