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Home > Plants, Pests & Pest Control > Pest Management > Invasive Plant Pests > Early Detection > Swimming Pool Detection

Swimming Pools for New Invasive Insect Detection

ALB on a stick
Image 2, Asian longhorned beetle

brown marmorated stick bug on a leaf
Image 3, brown marmorated stink bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Back
Image 4, BMSB back (dorsal)

ALB on its back
Image 5, ALB (dorsal) 

ALB on a rock
Image 1, Asian longhorned beetle

Invasive insect pests are a serious threat to Minnesota’s agricultural and natural resources. Believe or not, inspection of pool filter and skimmer contents for invasive insects has proven successful in New Hampshire and Maryland for detecting new pests. By checking the content of your swimming pool filter and skimmer, you may be able to help us find new infestations of potentially devastating pests. Two pests of concern are the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) and the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). ALB tunnels into and kills many different types of trees, especially maples, and threatens forest lands and community forests. BMSB feeds on hundreds of types of plants and can cause major losses to field crops, fruits and vegetable. Please help us implement this survey program in Minnesota to protect our agricultural and natural resources from new pests.

The protocol is as follows:

  1. When you clean the filter and skimmer of your pool, take a look to see if it may have captured ALB or BMSB.
    1. ALB is 3/4 to1 1/2 inches long, glossy black with up to 20 white spots, and has long antennae (1 to 1 1/2 times body length) with white bands. (See images 1 & 2)
    2. BMSB is about 1/2 inch long, shield-shaped and “marbled” brown in color. To distinguish BMSB from other brown stink bugs in Minnesota, look for the light-colored bands on the dark antennae and alternating dark and light color pattern on edge of abdomen. (See image 3)
  2. Take a close-up digital photo of the insect showing its back (dorsal) surface like this. (See images 4 & 5)
  3. Email picture as attachment to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture ( In the message, include your name, phone number, and street address and city at which the sample was collected.
  4. Save the suspect ALB or BMSB in plastic bag until MDA responds to you via email or phone.
  5. MDA scientists will examine the photos. If it is determined that the insect is not ALB or BMSB, we will get back to you so that the insect specimen may be thrown away. If it is suspected that the insect could potentially be ALB or BMSB, we will send you a sample kit which will include a postage-paid, addressed envelope for you to send the specimen to MDA for further examination.

Any questions about the program in general or the protocol in specific may be directed to the MDA Arrest the Pest Hotline ( or 1-888-545-6684).