Bug off: The third annual Swimming Pool Survey aims to help New York officials prevent Asian longhorned beetles from killing maples and other hardwood trees.

Industry professionals in the state of New York might want to give a heads up to their pool-owning customers. The third annual Swimming Pool Survey has been launched, and state officials need help if they are to keep the dreaded Asian longhorned beetle (ALD) from killing maple and other hardwood trees in the area.

Pool owners are asked to be on the lookout for the bugs until Aug. 29. The ALDs have long antennae and are black with white spots on their backs. They’re attracted to pools even though they aren’t good swimmers and often end up dead in filters and baskets. If participating homeowners find any, they are to take digital photos and email the images to the N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation.

Pool monitoring is seen as an easy, economical way to stay a step ahead of these exotic, burrowing beetles. The survey occurs at this time of year because this is when the ALDs reach adulthood, emerge from the trees in which they were born, and start looking for other trees to infest. If they can be stopped before settling en masse into neighborhood trees or forests, the environmental and monetary savings can be significant.

ALDs were first detected in this country in 1996, and it’s thought they were stowaways in wood packing material from Asia. To date, they’ve caused the loss of more than 80,000 trees in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois and Ohio -- and cost $3.5 billion in damage in the United States annually.

To participate in the pool survey, email jessica.cancelliere@dec.ny.gov, or call (518) 478-7813.