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Own a swimming pool? NYSDEC wants you to participate in a citizen science survey

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Posted at 3:36 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 15:36:29-04

NEW YORK (WKBW) — If you own a swimming pool the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is looking for you to participate in a citizen science survey for invasive insects.

Swimming pool owners are encouraged to participate in the DEC’s annual Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) Swimming Pool Survey. The DEC says during the late summer ALB emerge as adults and are active outside of their host tree. The goal of the survey is to locate infestations of the invasive beetles before they cause serious damage to trees and forests in the state.

“The best opportunity to eradicate and limit the spread of invasive species is by finding infestations early, when populations are low,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Swimming pool monitoring is a simple, economical approach to surveying for these pests and gives New Yorkers the chance to take an active role in protecting their communities."

From now and until you close your swimming pool the DEC is asking you to periodically check your filters for insects that resemble ALB and report suspects by:

  • Email photos to foresthealth@dec.ny.gov
  • Mail insects to DEC's Forest Health Diagnostics Lab at 108 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054, Attn: Liam Somers.

If you dont have a swimming pool but would still like to help you can report signs of ALB in your community.

The DEC says ALB are:

  • Is about 1.5 inches long, black with white spots, and have black and white antennae;
  • Leave perfectly round exit holes about the size of a dime in branches and trunks of host trees; and
  • Create sawdust-like material called frass that collects on branches and around the base of trees.

"ALB are wood-boring beetles native to Asia that were accidentally introduced to the United States through wood-packing materials. These pests attack a variety of hardwoods, including maples, birches, and willows, among others, and have caused the death of hundreds of thousands of trees across the country. The State Department of Agriculture and Markets has worked diligently to manage ALB infestations in New York, successfully eradicating them from Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, Islip, and Queens. The beetle is still actively managed in central Long Island, and there are active infestations in Massachusetts, Ohio, and South Carolina," a release says.