Asian Longhorned Beetles found in trees on Bryant Avenue, Shrewsbury

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Shrewsbury – The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced the expansion of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) regulated area in Worcester County after the discovery of eight infested trees on Bryant Avenue in Shrewsbury.

The beetle, native to Asia, is a destructive pest of hardwood trees, including maple, horse chestnut, birch, poplar, willow, and elm. ALB was first discovered in Massachusetts in 2008.

“With the expansion of the Asian Longhorned Beetle regulated area, it is important that residents in the town of Shrewsbury, as well as the surrounding communities, continue to be apprised of local, state, and federal resources as we work with the communities to combat the infestation,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “Our administration encourages residents to abide by protocol and also learn of available services and resources.”

Because of the discovery, DCR and APHIS will expand the current central Massachusetts regulated area by 12 square miles. The federal and state quarantine zone for the area will now be 110 square miles, and cover the entire town of Shrewsbury. To help prevent the spread of ALB, no wood materials will be transported outside the regulated area.

“The expansion of the regulated area is an additional safeguard for cities and towns in our effort to combat the spread of this invasive insect,” said DCR Commissioner Ed Lambert. “We will continue to work hard to contain and eliminate ALB within the Worcester County regulated area and appreciate the partnership with local and federal partners in these efforts.”

A report of the findings will be provided to the Shrewsbury Board of Selectman on Tuesday, Oct. 25. State and federal officials will then hold a public meeting to provide information and answer questions Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m., at the Shrewsbury Town Hall, 100 Maple St.

The Worcester County regulated area includes all of Worcester, West Boylston, Boylston and Shrewsbury, as well as portions of Holden, and Auburn. To view the current Worcester County quarantine map, visit www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/asian_lhb/alb_maps.shtml.