Technologies For Preventing Introductions of Exotic Wood-Boring Insects Into The United States

Impacts of Chipping on Surrogates for the Longhorned Beetle Anoplophora glabripennis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in Logs

Methods Development for the Exclusion of Asian Longhorned Beetle

Technologies for Preventing Introductions of Exotic
Wood-Boring Insects into the United States
Mary Fleming1, Kelli Hoover2,  Yi Fang1, Dinesh Agrawal1, Vic Mastro3, Jeffrey Shield4, Yuejin Wang5, Rustum Roy1

The use of microwaves to destroy Asian longhorned beetles in wood used for making pallets and crates was investigated in China. Our preliminary research found that green wood is an excellent absorber of microwave energy regardless of wood type studied; whereas dry wood is a much poorer absorber, but a better transmitter, of microwave energy.   Consequently, because larvae and pupae contain a high volume of water, insects are killed much more quickly in dry wood than wet wood using microwaves.  Initial experiments conducted in China on 4x4x1 and 4x4x4 blocks of poplar showed that irradiation at 100% power using a 900 W microwave oven kills ALB larvae and pupae in 5 to 30 seconds in dry poplar and 3 minutes or less in wet poplar.  Our preliminary data suggest that microwaves are a feasible, practical alternative for eradication of exotic wood-boring insects in wood used to construct solid wood packing materials.  We are currently working on optimizing the parameters of this technology and the inclusion of chemical indicators that can be applied to wood to verify that effective treatment of the wood has occurred.

Death of ALB larvae in green poplar
after 3 minutes of microwave irradiation

Death of ALB larva in dry poplar
after 30 secondsof microwave irradiation

1Materials Research Lab, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA  16802
2Department of Entomology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA  16802
3Methods Development Lab, USDA-APHIS-PPQ, Otis ANGB, MA  02542
4Materials Science & Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112
5State Administration for Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine of P.R. China


Impacts of Chipping on Surrogates for the Longhorned Beetle
Anoplophora glabripennis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in Logs
Boade Wang, Victor C. Mastro, and Win H. McLane

As part of the eradication program for recent introductions of the longhorned beetle Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky) in the United States, wood from infested trees is chipped and incinerated.  Two tests were conducted to evaluate the efficiency of chipping wood from infested trees on the survival of the beetle.  In the first test, plastic worms were used as surrogates for larvae of the beetle.  Plastic worms of different sizes were placed in holes drilled in logs of sugar maples, Acer saccharum Marsh.  In a second test, in addition to plastic worms, we used different instars and pupae of gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae); larvae of an unidentified weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).  Although chipping did not result in obvious damage to all the plastic worms, it did kill all larvae and pupae of insects placed in holes of maple logs.  The overall recovery rate (percent recovered) for the plastic worms was 96% in the first (1997) test, and 71 and 98% for 10 and 40 mm long plastic worms in the second (1998) test, respectively.  Logistic regression analysis of the data from the first experiment indicates that larger worms receive more damage.  Size of logs did not have a significant effect on the level of damage received by plastic worms.  All recovered insects were severely damaged after chipping logs and we could not determine recovery rates.  Results of the two tests indicate that chipping wood from infested trees without incineration of the resulting chips provides a highly effective method for destroying wood inhabiting insect pests such as A. glabripennis.  The elimination of incineration saves considerable resources while effectively eliminating risks associated with movements of wood containing living wood-boring insects.

Journal of Economic Entomology 93(6): 1832-1836 (2000)
USDA-APHIS PPQ, Otis Plant Protection Center, Building #1398, Otis ANGB, MA 02542


Methods Development for the Exclusion of Asian Longhorned Beetle
Ronald G. Mack, Jr. and Alan V. Barak

Methods developed to exclude Asian Longhorned beetle (ALB) from future shipments containing solid wood packing materials were initiated in China during the spring of 2000 as part of a cooperative agreement between China Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ) and USDA-APHIS-PPQ.  Heat treatment experiments were conducted on solid wood packing material at a commercial pallet manufacture plant in Xiaoshan, Zhejiang Province, China.  Poplar wood in thicknesses of 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, and 20 cm was artificially seeded with late instar larvae of ALB and heated to 60 degrees C in a kiln.  Results are forthcoming and will serve to strengthen the existing wood products treatment schedule (T404-b-4) printed in the USDA-APHIS-PPQ Treatment Manual.  Fumigation trials were conducted in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia using fabricated Lexan chambers (15 cu. ft.) placed in refrigerated shipping containers. Poplar timbers (10 cm x 10 cm), both naturally infested and artificially seeded with larvae of ALB, were exposed to currently accepted concentrations of methyl bromide, sulfuryl fluoride, and phosphine at temperatures of 4.4, 10, 15.5, and 21.1 C.  Preliminary results indicate that the current treatment schedule for methyl bromide on wood products (T404-b-1-1) is adequate. Sulfuryl fluoride trials proved inconclusive due to poor fumigant penetration as a result of the high moisture content of freshly sawn wood. The evolution of CO2 gas from green wood also had influence on  the readings of both methyl bromide and sulfuryl fluoride.  Phosphine trials resulted in reduced efficacy at lower temperatures and were hampered by slow evolution of the Chinese phosphine formulation.  Further testing of fumigants on solid wood packing is planned for the 2001 season.

USDA-APHIS-PPQ, Otis Plant Protection Center Building 1398, Otis ANGB, MA  02542


Research Home