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Another invasive bug threatens Kentucky forests

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By Levi Berg

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Another pest is invading and killing trees in the United States. Like the emerald ash borer, the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is an invasive insect that kills deciduous trees.
Unfortunately, this insect can invade a large number of trees, but maple, horsechestnut, buckeyes, willow, elm, birch and sycamore trees are considered to be a good to excellent host for the insect.
Luckily, this insect has not been identified in Kentucky, but has been found in Ohio. The ALB is harmless to humans and pets.
The Asian longhorned beetle ranges from 1 to 1.5 inches long and is black with multiple white spots on its back. ALB also has exceptionally long antennae that are banded black and white and have elongated feet that are black with whitish-blue upper surface.
The Asian longhorned beetle is an extremely destructive insect because it kills the tree from the inside out.
Larvae burrow deep holes in the tree’s trunk. These deep holes cause the tree to slowly die because the holes cut off the tree’s water and energy supply.
As the insect ages, it comes to the surface of the tree causing multiple large holes around three-eighths of an inch in diameter. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure because the insect kills the tree from the inside out.
Right now, you are probably asking, “How can I protect my trees if I do spot the Asian longhorned beetle?”
The first and most important step is to check your trees for the exit holes from the insects starting in the spring thru the fall.
There are a few eradication programs that can help, but most of all prevention is key.
Make sure not to move wood from ALB infected areas, and this includes firewood because the insect will harbor deep in the wood, and can easily be transferred from area to area.
Just remember that the Asian longhorned beetle has not been spotted in Kentucky and let’s try to keep it that way.
Don’t move firewood from infected areas in an effort to try to prevent its spread.
If you suspect the ALB, please report the potential sighting by calling 1-866-702-9938 or by logging into asianlonghornedbeetle.com.
Information was obtained from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Picture obtained from the Kentucky Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey

2015 Tobacco Gap Training

On Jan. 29 at 1 p.m., Henry County Cooperative Extension Service will host a tobacco GAP training for the 2016 tobacco growing season.
As most know, all tobacco producers must have a tobacco GAP certification in order to sell their tobacco.
Dr. Bob Pearce, UK Extension tobacco specialist, will provide a production update including new variety and management information.
Please be sure to bring your GAPConnections grower ID card to the tobacco GAP training to receive certification, and if you do not have a GAPConnections grower ID card, please visit www.gapconnections.com prior to the meeting to register for your grower ID.
Please call (502) 845-2811 to RSVP for the training. Shelby County will also be hosting a tobacco training on Jan. 29 starting at 9 a.m.
Please call the Shelby County Cooperative Extension Service at (502) 633-4593 to register for their training.