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BETA Your feedback will help us improve the UK Plant Health Information Portal

Paddock wood 2012 outbreak

In 2009, following a report from a member of the public, plant health inspectors discovered an adult Asian longhorn beetle at a site associated with imported wooden packaging material from China in the paddock wood area of Kent. Although no further adult beetles or symptoms were detected at the time as with all such findings the site was routinely surveyed for a number of years following the initial finding for evidence of pest establishment. 

In March 2012 one such follow up survey led to the discovery of several larvae of the beetle inside a poplar tree close to where the adult beetle had been found in 2009. Further surveillance was undertaken of all known hosts in the area which led to the discovery of 24 infested hosts and confirmation that this was an established outbreak of the pest. Due to the difficulty in detecting the pest and symptoms, a necessary requirement of the eradication campaign was to pre-emptively remove potential infested hosts within the proximity of known infested ones.  In total 2166 host plants were removed with a further 42 being confirmed as infested only after removal. Over the course of the initial eradication campaign 354 live larvae, 34 live pupae and 2 recently emerged adults were detected.


Exit holes in an infested sycamore

ALB infested sycamore3

Larvae inside infested salix

ALB larvae Salix


Host clearance

ALB clearance work3


To date no further evidence of the pest has been detected however to be confident the outbreak has been eradicated surveillance in the area including ground surveys and inspections by tree climbers to improve the likelihood of detection is continuing for at least 6 years. Local public awareness initiatives are also being used to support surveillance during the main adult emergence and flight period.

Further information:

Outbreak Q&A

Outbreak report 2012-2013

Outbreak report 2013-2014

Outbreak report 2014-2015

Outbreak report 2015-2016

Initial press release

Second press release

Third press release

Fourth press release