Deborah LaScaleia honored by USDA for role in Asian longhorned beetle eradication
Clint McFarland, Federal
Project Manager for
the Asian Longhorned
Program for the
USDA, and Deb LaScaleia
The Asian longhorned beetle was first identified in the United States in the mid 1990s. It is thought to have made the journey from Asia in packing material brought over on container ships. These beetles are especially fond of sugar maples and can cause the death of infected trees. Massachusetts, New York and Ohio have all experienced infestations. If they make their way to sugar maples in New Hampshire and Vermont, the consequences could be dire. "You’d have no maple syrup. Imagine the economic impact," says LaScaleia.
Once all the infected trees were identified on BWFH’s property, they were removed by the USDA and the stumps ground to stop the spread of the insect. The surrounding area was then mapped with susceptible trees identified. Those trees were injected every June for three years with a chemical that prevents Asian longhorned beetles from establishing themselves. The DCR later planted non-susceptible trees to replace those that were lost.
LaScaleia says she was just doing her job when she made that call to the arborist. What followed was a massive team effort to stop the spread of the Asian longhorned beetle. After the infected trees on BWFH’s property were removed, an investigation looked into how the property became infected. "It was like CSI," says LaScaleia. "It was quite fascinating."
Deb LaScaleia receives her award from
DCR, MDAR and USDA officials