Asian longhorned beetle declared eradicated in the cities of Mississauga and Toronto

News release

June 25, 2020 - Ottawa, ON

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, with the Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O'Regan, announced today that the Asian longhorned beetle (ALHB) has been eradicated from the cities of Mississauga and Toronto in the province of Ontario. This was the only known population of ALHB in Canada. ALHB is a highly destructive wood-boring pest of maples and other hardwood trees including poplar, birch and willow. It has the potential to devastate Canada's hardwood and maple syrup industries.

The ALHB was discovered in the cities of Mississauga and Toronto in August 2013, after previously having been eradicated in the cities of Toronto and Vaughan. To prevent the spread, CFIA established a regulated area within the cities of Mississauga and Toronto that restricted the movement of nursery stock, trees, lumber, wood, and wood products, including all firewood unless given prior authorization. Combined with a promotional campaign creating awareness about the movement of firewood, CFIA with the help of residents and businesses were successful in eradicating this destructive invasive species.

After five years of surveys with no detection of this plant pest, the Asian Long-horned Beetle Infested Place Order has been repealed effective June 9, 2020. The movement of firewood and host tree materials will no longer be restricted, however it is important to remember that one of the most common ways pests travel is by hitching a ride in firewood. It is always recommended to buy and burn wood locally.

As Canada marks the United Nations International Year of Plant Health, each Canadian has a critical role to play in protecting Canada's plants and trees against pests such as the Asian longhorned beetle. Learn more about the International Year of Plant Health and how Canadians can get involved in the fight against invasive species.

Quotes

"Today's announcement builds on all the work we have been doing in collaboration with our federal, provincial and municipal partners. Together, we continue to work to prevent the introduction and spread of plant pests within Canada in an effort to protect our plant resources, which is critical to food security and our wellbeing."

– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"This is welcome news for Canadian forests. The talented team of Canadian Forest Service scientists has been essential in guiding effective pest management programs as we work with partners to protect our nation's forests from invasive insects and diseases."

– The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Canada's Minister Natural Resources

"The eradication of this pest is great news. Plant pests such as the Asian longhorned beetle, pose a substantial risk to Canada's economy and environment. This is why I am so pleased to see all levels of government working closely with industry stakeholders to protect Canada's plants and trees."

– Neil Ellis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick facts

  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of federal acts and regulations, including the Plant Protection Act.

  • Consistent with international practice, the CFIA requires at least five years of surveys with no detections before eradication can be declared.

  • The ALHB, which is native to Asia, attacks and kills healthy deciduous trees, especially maple.

  • The ALHB is not native to Canada and has no natural controls. Tree removal is the most effective way of mitigating the spread of the beetle to uninfested trees.

  • Moving untreated firewood is a common way for invasive insects and diseases to spread.

  • The ALHB was previously detected in the cities of Toronto and Vaughan in 2003. It was declared eradicated in 2013. Following a new detection in 2013, the CFIA established a regulated area around parts of Mississauga and Toronto as part of its plans to eliminate the pest.

Associated links

Contacts

For interviews:
Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
jean-sebastien.comeau@canada.ca
343-549-2326

For background information:
CFIA Media Relations
cfia.media.acia@canada.ca
613-773-6600

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