Other exotic pests
EAB is one of many non-native invasive species that threaten Missouri’s forests and waterways. Others have been here for awhile, or are lurking in the background with the potential to hitchhike their way into the state.
Help prevent the spread of pests by following these simple ideas.
- Don’t move firewood.
- Inspect your vehicles and belongings when moving or traveling.
- Clean boats, ATVs, and other recreational vehicles before and after use.
- Clean pant cuffs, boots, backpacks, personal gear and pets of seeds, mud, and debris before leaving an area.
Asian longhorn beetle
The invasive Asian longhorn beetle (ALB) grows and reproduces within healthy and stressed deciduous hardwood tree species, such as maple, birch, horse chestnut, poplar, willow, elm, and ash. The beetle eventually kills the host tree. The ALB hitchhiked to the United States nestled deep within hardwoods cut into crates and pallets and used to import goods from Asian countries. There are currently ALB infestations being eradicated in New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Gypsy moth is a destructive, exotic forest pest that was accidentally introduced into the United States in 1869. It is currently established throughout the northeast and parts of the upper mid-west. Quick facts about gypsy moth: it feeds on over 300 species of trees but oaks are most preferred; 75 million acres have been defoliated by gypsy moth since 1970; gypsy moth defoliation causes extensive tree mortality, reduces property values, adversely affects commerce and causes allergic reactions in sensitive individuals that come in contact with the caterpillars; and almost 70 percent of the susceptible hardwood forests in the United States have not been infested by gypsy moth and are still at risk.
Periodic occurrences of decline and death of oaks over widespread areas have been recorded since 1900. These outbreaks, variously named oak decline, oak dieback, or oak mortality, are caused by a complex interaction of environmental stresses and pests and given the name oak decline.
Thousand cankers disease of black walnut
Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) is a pest complex that is causing mortality in walnut trees in many western states. It’s caused by the walnut twig beetle and an associated fungus. The name ‘thousand cankers’ is due to the coalescing cankers surrounding multiple beetle entry points on twigs, branches and main stems. The disease is scattered throughout western states and reports of walnut mortality are occurring simultaneously in areas that are connected by major highways. This distribution along major commerce routes suggests that movement of thousand cankers disease may be human assisted. Black walnut is highly susceptible to this disease, but TCD has not yet been found in the native range of black walnut. Effective April 12, 2010, the Missouri Department of Agriculture enacted a state exterior quarantine to protect Missouri's black walnut resource from this newly described pest complex.
Zebra mussels are fingernail-sized black-and-white striped bivalve mollusks native to the Caspian Sea region of Asia. They came to North American waters in international shipping ballast water and were discovered in Lake St. Clair near Detroit in 1988. Since then, zebra mussels have spread rapidly throughout the Great Lakes and connected waterways of the Mississippi River. Female zebra mussels can produce as many as 1 million eggs per year. These develop into microscopic free-swimming larvae that quickly begin to form shells. At about three weeks, the sand-grain-sized larvae start to settle. They clump together and cover rock, metal, rubber, wood, docks, boat hulls, native mussels, crayfish and even aquatic plants.