COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently announced the discovery of Asian long-horned beetle (ALB) infested trees in a section of the East Fork Wildlife Area in Clermont County.
The center of the newly discovered infestation is within the Williamsburg Township portion of the East Fork Wildlife Area, south of Clover Road. Tree inspection crews will continue to survey the area and surrounding areas to determine the extent of the infestation. Using ground surveyors and specially trained tree climbers, crews will inspect host tree species susceptible to ALB for signs of the wood-boring beetle. Any trees found to be infested will be removed as part of the eradication effort.
Once the extent of the infestation is evaluated, ODA will move to expand the ALB quarantine to include additional areas near the new infestation. When available, a map of the regulated areas will be posted at agri.ohio.gov.
“With more than $2.5 billion in standing maple timber and a $5 billion dollar nursery industry that employs nearly 240,000 people, it is vital we do all we can to keep this tree-killing pest from spreading across Ohio,” said David Daniels, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “We appreciate the patience and understanding of local communities as we continue to work with our partners in this eradication effort.”
East Fork Wildlife Area consists of 2,705 acres that are managed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife for public hunting and fishing in southwestern Ohio. It is unlawful for any person to remove wood from a wildlife area without first obtaining approval.
The beetle was first discovered in Tate Township in Clermont County in June 2011. Currently, 61-square miles are regulated, which include all of Tate Township and East Fork State Park, a portion of Monroe Township and a portion of Stonelick and Batavia townships.
Adult ALBs are large, shiny black insects measuring 1 to 1 ½ inches long, not including antennae, with random white spots. Their white-banded antennae can be as long as the body itself on females and almost twice the body length on males.
Signs of infestation include perfectly round exit holes (about 3/8 to 1/2 inch in diameter) made by adult beetles when they emerge from trees; the pockmarks on tree trunks and branches where female beetles deposit eggs; frass (wood shavings and saw dust) produced by larvae feeding and tunneling; early fall coloration of leaves or dead branches; and running sap produced by the tree at the egg laying sites or in response to larval tunneling. The beetle will infest various common trees in Ohio, including all species of maple, buckeye, willow and elm.
To report signs or symptoms of ALB, call the Ohio ALB Eradication Program Office at 513-381-7180 or report online at asianlonghornedbeetle.com.
Information for this story was provided by The Ohio Department of Agriculture.