We have received a few calls from concerned residents about people coming to their houses, looking to gain access to their backyards to inspect for Asian Longhorn Beetles. Some confusion was caused by the fact that the people were dressed in plain clothes and some reports state that they have identified themselves as working for the “Parks Department” or “the city.”
It turns out that the US Department of Agriculture currently has field inspectors in our area, specifically within the boundaries of 94th Street and 85th Street — from Jamaica Avenue to 97th Avenue in Ozone Park. They will be here approximately 3 more weeks.
There are 2 kinds of inspectors — Federal and State.
- Federal inspectors should be dressed in either green pants or blue jeans and black coat with USDA lettering.
- NY State inspectors do not have a uniform but should always be dressed in an official orange vest with lettering.
In all cases, inspectors have official badges and/or official IDs and will produce them on request.
It is in our best interest to cooperate and let them inspect — here is some information on the Asian Longhorn Beetle.
But if they do not produce ID — if they are not dressed properly — if they do not properly identify themselves — do not grant them access to your property. If you do not feel comfortable, if you are suspicious — call the police. Please note that we have spoken with a field manager and expressed concern at some of the reports we have received — we hope that the USDA takes steps to make sure that their inspectors properly identify themselves.