In recognition of Asian Longhorned Beetle Awareness Month, the Maine Department of Agriculture is asking all Mainers to be on the lookout for this invasive pest. Asian longhorned beetle is a woodboring beetle, responsible for the death of thousands of hardwood trees in nearby Massachusetts. To recognize this and other pests, head to the local public library and pick up a free bookmark.

Colorful ALB and ‘GotPests’ bookmarks are being mailed to public libraries across the state this week. The ALB bookmark shows how to recognize the beetle and the damage it causes, and will help residents identify and report infestations. The GotPests bookmark highlights a new, user-friendly website gotpests.org, designed to help Mainers identify common pests, and to find the best methods for keeping gardens, lawns and homes beautiful and pest-free.

“ALB has not been discovered in Maine yet, but these bookmarks serve as an educational aid and a reminder to the public to be aware and report any suspicious sightings,” said Lorraine Taft, outreach coordinator of Maine’s Forest Pest Outreach and Survey Project, in a news release.

The ALB bookmarks were distributed to libraries two years ago, but not all libraries were able to receive them. “With additional funding in 2010 from the US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, we were able to have more bookmarks printed and mailed to all of Maine’s public libraries this time,” says Karen Coluzzi, entomologist with the Maine Department of Agriculture. “Early detection of this pest will help to protect Maine’s forests. Citizens can play a critical role in that.”

For more information about the Asian longhorned beetle, visit albmaine.org or gotpests.org.