Keep a sharp eye, Michigan. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is asking residents to watch out for an invasive species that could have an immediate and devasting effect on the state's plants and wildlife. The Asian longhorned beetle, named for its oversized antennae, doesn't pose much danger in its adult form. Like many of Michigan's youth, its most destructive years occur well before adulthood.

Related: Michigan DNR Invasive Species Watchlist: Northern Snakehead

This pesky crawler has made its way into Michigan before and has been quickly identified and eradicated. However, the danger it poses to maple trees and the swift manner in which they can destroy a tree have the DNR on the lookout for the first signs of this invasive species.

The Potential Fallout of an Asian Longhorned Beetle Invasion for Michigan

The Asian longhorned beetle is on Michigan Department of Natural Resources Invasive Species Watchlist
ALB egg pits and exit hole. Dennis Haugen, USDA Forest Service,

The species larva has an appetite for Michigan's maple trees, so if you see dying branches or holes in the trunk, you may be dealing with an Asian longhorned beetle infestation. The maple may be its favorite snack, but willow, sycamore, and horse chestnut are also on the menu. The larva drills so relentlessly into the wood that the tree eventually can no longer hold together and collapses.

This flashy-looking beetle will more than likely hitch a ride in a crate from Asia or firewood from neighboring states like Ohio, Massachusetts, and New York, which are already dealing with the nasty impact of this invasive species. If left unchecked, expect federal and state officials to leap into action. They'll survey the forest and destroy any infected trees, which isn't a pleasant experience.


If you spot what you think is an Asian longhorned beetle, follow these steps to report where and when you found it,

  1. Snap Some Pics: Take photos of the suspect tree or beetle
  2. Note the Location: Record where you found it
  3. Capture the Culprit: If possible, collect the beetle in a jar
  4. REPORT IT: Contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at or call 800-292-3939

You can also use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool or download the MISIN smartphone app.

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