After weeks of trapping and searching, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) entomologists have located an Asian giant hornet nest on a property in Blaine – the first ever such nest found in the U.S.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is announcing that two exotic species of Asian and Eurasian ticks have been detected for the first time on Block Island. It was confirmed by DNA and morphological characteristics that they are ticks not previously found in Rhode Island. Dr. Danielle M. Tufts identified the tick species Haemaphysalis longicornis and Haemaphysalis punctata when studying ticks on Block Island this summer.
Haemaphysalis longicornis, also called the Asian longhorned tick, was first detected in the United States in 2017 in New Jersey. Haemaphysalis punctata is native to Europe and has not been previously detected in a natural setting in North America. H. punctata is sometimes known as the "red sheep tick" in its native range. The center of its distribution is the southern half of Europe, including England, and there are some established populations along North African coastal areas. The finding on Block Island is notable because this tick is not known to exist outside of its home range.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has unveiled a new online reporting tool for people to report any sightings of feral swine or their damage to the agency. Feral swine, also called wild boar and feral hogs, are an invasive species that cause significant damage to plant communities and wildlife habitat, prey on native wildlife, compete with native species for limited food and clean water resources and potentially spread diseases that pose substantial risk to livestock, wildlife, humans and pets. Commission biologists, along with other members of the N.C. Feral Swine Task Force, are seeking information from the public to better understand the distribution and abundance of feral swine across the state, and to estimate type and extent of damages they are causing, including damage to agricultural crops, timber, wildlife habitats, landscaping and others.
Reported sightings will help members of the task force determine priority areas where they can focus management efforts. Education and outreach events, technical assistance staff, loaner traps, and other control measures will be focused in areas of greatest need. For more information on feral swine in North Carolina, visit the Commission’s feral swine web page.
Effective immediately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in cooperation with the South Carolina Clemson University’s Department of Plant Industry, is placing 58.6 square miles under quarantine for Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). APHIS is taking this action in response to the June 4, 2020, confirmation of ALB at a residence in Hollywood, Charleston County, South Carolina, and subsequent tree surveys confirming ALB-infested trees in and near Hollywood.
More information on ALB is available on the APHIS website. For additional information regarding the ALB Program, please contact the ALB National Policy Manager, Paul Chaloux, 301-851-2068.
A dead spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, has been found in a shipment of planters and ceramic pots sent to Oregon from Pennsylvania. Recently, a nursery in the Corvallis area found the dead female specimen and called the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Insect Pest Prevention and Management Program (1-800-525-0137) to report. The SLF poses a threat to tree fruit and grape production. Grapes used for wine are a high value crop in Oregon, valued at more than $238 million in 2019. This invasive pest also prefers a broad range of more than 70 plant species including apples, cherry, chestnut, hops, maple, peaches, pear, pine, plum, poplar, oak, rose and walnut.
SLF was first found in North America in 2014, in Pennsylvania. It is believed to have arrived on shipments of stone from China. Since then, SLF has been detected in 11 eastern states (Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia). If you believe you have found SLF, please notify the Oregon Department of Agriculture immediately by calling 1-800-525-0137 or email email@example.com.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce the release of the newly created Arkansas Feral Hog Handbook, a guide to resources available in Arkansas to assist with feral hog control and eradication. The handbook includes contact information, websites, and brief explanations of the resources offered by state and federal agencies and other entities. "The Arkansas Feral Hog Handbook was made possible through a grant funded by the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service. We appreciate their partnership and the information provided by other Feral Hog Eradication Task Force members to make the handbook a comprehensive educational resource for Arkansans," said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward.
The handbooks are being distributed to the public at locations throughout the state with assistance from partner organizations, including the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Game and Fish, and Arkansas Farm Bureau. Copies of the handbook can be requested at firstname.lastname@example.org. An online version (2020; PDF | 4.48 MB) is also available.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is publishing a final rule that removes the federal domestic quarantine regulation for the pine shoot beetle (PSB, Tomicus piniperda). Eliminating this regulation is in keeping with USDA’s goal of reducing regulations that have outlived their usefulness. Removing the quarantine ends APHIS’ domestic regulatory activities, which include actions such as issuing permits, certificates, and compliance agreements, making site visits, and conducting investigations of suspected violations. APHIS, in consultation with the National Plant Board, considers pine shoot beetle to be a minor pest that can be controlled locally, given its slow spread and the minimal damage it causes.
The final rule will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register on October 1, 2020 or on Nov. 2, 2020. Documents may be viewed online at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=APHIS-2016-0065-0001 upon publication.
Idaho watercraft inspectors have identified zebra mussels on a commercially hauled sailboat destined for Lake Coeur d’Alene in the state’s northern panhandle, marking the first time the invasive species has been found live this year.
Forest Service scientists have published a guide synthesizing best practices for controlling these tiny bugs. It promotes a strategy of combining insecticide use with adelgid-eating insects.
Seeds that float in the air can hitchhike in unusual places – like the air-intake grille of a refrigerated shipping container. A team of researchers from the USDA Forest Service, Arkansas State University, and other organizations recently conducted a study that involved vacuuming seeds from air-intake grilles over two seasons at the Port of Savannah, Georgia. The viability of such seeds is of significant interest to federal regulatory and enforcement agencies, and the project required a shared stewardship approach. Their findings were recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Seeds from 30 plant taxa were collected from the air-intake grilles, including seeds of wild sugarcane (Saccharum spontaneum), a grass on the USDA Federal Noxious Weed List. Federal noxious weeds pose immediate, significant threats to agriculture, nursery, and forestry industries. Although a lovely grass and useful in its native range, wild sugarcane has the potential to join cogongrass, stiltgrass, and other nonnative species that have become extremely widespread in the U.S.