Glickman Announces USDA Testing of New Lure to Help Combat Asian Longhorned
Permit to Be Required for Interstate Shipment of All Invasive Plants
ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Sandy Hays (301) 504-1638, email@example.com
July 22, 1999
WASHINGTON, July 22ľAgriculture Secretary Dan Glickman today announced that
USDA researchers have developed and are now testing a new chemical
attractant and lure that may help combat the pesky Asian longhorned beetle,
an invasive species that has destroyed hardwood trees in Chicago and
Brooklyn, New York neighborhoods.
"Our goal is to eradicate this pest," said Glickman, addressing the first
meeting of the President's Council on Invasive Species. "And this new lure
could help us set up a Roach Motel with lifetime rooms set aside
specifically for Asian longhorned beetles."
Glickman also announced that USDA will prohibit any interstate movement of
invasive plants, listed in the Federal Noxious Weed Act regulations, without
a permit. Currently, a permit from USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service is required only where a quarantine exists. The new policy, which
will be published in the Federal Register soon, will better prevent the
unplanned and potentially damaging spread of invasive plants into
non-infested areas of the United States.
"Believe it or not: People can now order some invasive plants out of
gardening catalogs and have them delivered right to their door," said
Glickman. "If we are going to fight these weeds and prevent the
environmental and economic havoc they can wreak, this step is absolutely
To create the beetle lure, USDA scientists first isolated two chemicals
produced by male beetles. They then made artificial copies that appear to be
potent attractants for both sexes. During promising lab tests, the two
synthetic pheromones were the only substances, from either plants or
insects, that interested the beetles enough to encourage them to fly toward
the source in a wind tunnel. Field tests in China are currently underway. If
the attractant is effective and works at appropriate distances, baited traps
can be used in the United States to help flush out undetected beetle
infestations and monitor high-risk areas, such as import warehouses and
ports, for new introductions.
The lure was discovered by entomologist Jeffrey Aldrich and chemists James
E. Oliver and Aijun Zhang of the Agricultural Research Service's Insect
Chemical Ecology Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. Entomologist David Lance of
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service developed the trap. A
patent application was filed earlier this month for the new pheromones.
Last year, Glickman announced that USDA would ban the import of all
untreated solid wood packing material from China, source of the Asian
longhorned beetle. This preventive step has already reduced the number of
beetle interceptions in the United States.
The President established the Council on Invasive Species in February to
coordinate and intensify federal, state, and local efforts to fight
non-native plants and animals. The Council, which is chaired by Glickman,
Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, and Commerce Secretary William Daley, will
work cooperatively with state and local officials, tribes, scientists,
universities, environmental groups, farm organizations, shipping interests,
and the business community to create a detailed invasive species management
Many ecologists believe the spread of exotic species constitutes one of the
most serious, yet least appreciated, threats to biodiversity. Invasive
species inflict a heavy toll on American agriculture, reducing the quality
and raising the cost of food, feed, and fiber. Experts estimate that
invasive plants have already infested over 100 million acres. Three million
acres, an area twice the size of Delaware, is lost to invasive plants each
year. The total economic impact of invasive species on the U.S. economy is
estimated to be about $123 billion annually.
Scientific contact: Jeffrey Aldrich, Insect Chemical Ecology Laboratory,
Beltsville, Md., phone (301) 504- 8531, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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