JP is officially beetle-free

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced on May 12 that the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) has been eradicated from Jamaica Plain.

The tree-killing insects, an invasive species, were first identified in Boston in 2010, in six trees at Faulkner Hospital, just across the street from the Arnold Arboretum. A quarantine area on transporting wood was declared for a 1.5-mile radius around the site by the USDA, and included nearly the whole of JP and Brookline and parts of Hyde Park and Dorchester.

“While the eradication of this infestation is a victory for all of us, we ask that residents of Massachusetts stay vigilant in inspecting their trees regularly for signs of the beetle,” APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine Deputy Administrator Osama El-Lissy said in a press release.

Beetles that infest trees dig into the wood and emerge in July or August. They leave round, quarter- to golf-ball-sized holes. They infest only some hardwood trees.

At just under four years, this marks the shortest eradication timeframe in the history of APHIS’s national ALB Eradication.

The ALB is a large black beetle with white spots and long antennae.

Another ALB quarantine area of 110 square miles remains in effect around Worcester, which has lost thousands of trees to the beetle over the past several years.

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