FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2008

USDA AND ITS PARTNERS DECLARE VICTORY OVER THE ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE
Illinois is First State to Reach Eradication of the Invasive Pest

CHICAGO, April 17, 2008 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the City of Chicago today announced the official eradication of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) from Illinois.  The event was held in the Ravenswood, Chicago neighborhood where the pest was found almost 10 years ago.  This makes Illinois the first state fighting active ALB infestations to declare victory over the invasive insect.

“This successful eradication would not have been possible without the solid partnership between federal, state and local governments fighting ALB in Illinois,” said Bruce Knight, under secretary for USDA’s marketing and regulatory programs.  “Eliminating the ALB involved the innovative use of resources, open lines of communication between government agencies and the public and a united commitment to decisive and results-oriented actions.”

ALB was discovered in Illinois in the summer of 1998, and the most recent infestation was detected around Chicago’s Oz Park in 2003.  Since that time, extensive surveys have not found adult ALB or any signs of infestation.  With at least four years of active surveys and no signs of insects or infestation uncovered, USDA and its partners now can declare ALB eradication in Illinois.

“The combination of great teamwork with our state and federal allies and the extremely strong support of Mayor Daley and our elected officials from the impacted neighborhoods made it possible for us to aggressively go after this invasive pest and eradicate the ALB from Chicago,” said Deputy Commissioner Malcolm Whiteside, head of the Chicago Department of Streets & Sanitation’s Bureau of Forestry.

Between 1998 and 2006, approximately 1,771 host trees were removed to destroy the invasive insect.  In Illinois, ALB quarantine zones have existed in numerous Chicago neighborhoods, including Oz Park, Ravenswood, Kilbourn Park, Loyola, Park Ridge, O’Hare, Addison and Summit.  As many as 35 square miles were quarantined for the pest in and around Chicago, with 61 square miles considered infested and surveyed for signs of beetles.  The last chemical treatments took place in the Oz Park area in 2006.

"This day would not have been possible without the hard work and cooperation of many individuals and agencies,” said Warren Goetsch, bureau chief of environmental programs for the Illinois Department of Agriculture.  “The federal and state governments, along with the efforts of the city of Chicago and various towns and villages, all contributed mightily to the success of this project.  I encourage local residents to recognize the tremendous work put forth by these groups and join us as we celebrate the complete eradication of this pest in Illinois.”

Today’s eradication event took place in the same Ravenswood neighborhood where an alert citizen first discovered the ALB when he reported an unusual beetle on tree limbs in the late 1990’s.  More than 1,400 infested trees were removed from that area alone.

The ALB is about 1.5 inches long and shiny black with antenna up to twice the length of their bodies, banded in black and white.  Host tree species that beetles favor include maple, birch, elm and poplar, among others.

USDA currently is working with its state and local government partners to eradicate ALB in parts of New York and in central New Jersey.  Additional information about ALB can be found at www.aphis.usda.gov.

###

Clean Sweep Sponsors


Adams County Farm Bureau

330 S. 36th St.

P.O. Box 3037

Quincy, IL 62305

 

 

 

Adams County SWCD

338 S. 36th St.

Quincy, IL 62301

Adams County Extension Unit

330 S. 36th St.

Quincy, IL 62301

Brown County Farm Bureau

109 W. North St.

Mt. Sterling, IL 62353

Brown County SWCD

511 East Main

Mt. Sterling, IL 62353

Brown County Extension Unit

111 W. Main St.

P.O. Box 209

Mt. Sterling, IL 62353

Fulton County Farm Bureau

15411 A N. State 100 Highway

Lewistown, IL 61542

Fulton County SWCD

15381 N. State Highway 100

Lewistown, IL 61542

Fulton County Extension Unit

15411 N. State 100 Highway

Lewistown, IL 61542

Hancock County Farm Bureau

544 Wabash Ave.

Carthage, IL 62321

Hancock County SWCD

110 Buchanan

Carthage, IL 62321

Hancock County Extension Unit

550 N. Madison

Carthage, IL 62321

Warren-Henderson County Farm Bureau

1000 N. Main St.

P.O. Box 350

Monmouth, IL 61462

Henderson County SWCD

323 E. Main St.

Stronghurst, IL 61480

Henderson County Extension Unit

410 E. Main St.

P.O. Box 540

Stronghurst, IL 61480

McDonough County Farm Bureau

717 W. Jackson St.

Macomb, IL 61455

McDonough County SWCD

1607 W. Jackson

Macomb, IL 61455

McDonough County Extension Unit

3022 W. Jackson

Macomb, IL 61455

Schuyler County Farm Bureau

114 E. Lafayette St.

P.O. Box 20

Rushville, IL 62681

Schuyler County SWCD

Macomb Rd.

P.O. Box 290

Rushville, IL 62681

Schuyler County Extension Unit

710 Maple Ave.

Rushville, IL 62681
 
Warren County SWCD
701 N. Main St.
Monmouth, IL 61462

Warren County Extension Unit

1000 N. Main St.

P.O. Box 227

Monmouth, IL 61462

 

###
Back to referring page