Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Asian Longhorned Beetle Inspection Expanded

Asian beetle inspection expanded in Lake County

August 15, 2008

By KENNETH PATCHEN kpatchen@pioneerlocal.com

The Asian Longhorned Beetle was not found within a half mile zone of Waukegan and Deerfield Roads this week where it was initially spotted, so the U.S. Department of Agriculture has expanded its inspection of trees to a one-mile perimeter.

A dedicated hot-line telephone number has been established for the public at (847) 699-2424 to report suspected infestations or to ask questions. Callers leave their name and number and will be called back with the information they requested or to obtain further details.

Public information about the beetle's presence in the area has been issued, inspection service contact with municipal officials in Northbrook, Highland Park, Northfield Township has been completed, and the city of Highland Park has posted information on the city web site at www.cityhpil.com about the Beetle.

Highland Park City Forester Larry King said inspection for the Beetle in the one-mile target zone may take two to three weeks and involves inspections on property in the extreme southwestern portions of Highland Park.

The first sighting was on Aug. 1. A shopper at a Deerfield Shopping Mall discovered the beetle on the front tire of another vehicle and alerted the Public Works Department of Deerfield. The insect's identity was confirmed on Aug. 5 by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and an experienced team of entomologists was assigned to conduct a half-mile inspection of vegetation for other specimens. In addition, imports by local industry were checked in the area. State and federal officials have requested that the public be alert for sightings of the Asian Longhorned Beetle and report it to them. More extensive inspections may be necessary.

"They may expand it further if they don't find it within the mile (inspection zone)," said King.


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