The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) together with the Ohio Department of Agriculture today announced that the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is eradicated from Stonelick Township in Clermont County, Ohio.
“The cooperative mission to eliminate this non-native beetle has resulted in success,” said Greg Ibach, USDA’s Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “While the eradication of this pest from Stonelick Township is a victory for all of us, we ask that the residents of Ohio continue to regularly check their trees for signs of damage.”
The beetle was discovered during the summer of 2012 in the southern portion of Stonelick Township, near the border with Batavia Township. The infestation was linked to the local movement of infested firewood. To control the pest, APHIS and the Ohio Department of Agriculture enacted a five-square mile regulated area in Stonelick and Batavia townships; an area within Clermont County. APHIS and its partners removed three infested trees, two from one property and one from another, and conducted over 255,430 inspection surveys of host trees in both townships.
In May 2015, the eradication program completed its third and final cycle of chemical treatment applications on 8,788 high-risk host trees. The ALB eradication program completed final inspection surveys of host trees in January to confirm the beetle is no longer in the area. Early reporting and early detection of the pest in Stonelick Township was critical to APHIS’ ability to eradicate this pest preventing long-term impacts on the community.
The eradication of the beetle from Stonelick Township and the removal of the associated ALB quarantine reduces the regulated areas in Ohio from 62 to 57 square miles. Two ALB quarantines remain in effect in Clermont County, encompassing all of East Fork State Park and Tate Township, and portions of Williamsburg and Monroe Townships.
APHIS and its cooperators use an integrated ALB eradication strategy that includes imposing quarantines, conducting regulatory inspections, surveying host trees by using ground and aerial survey methods, removing infested and high-risk host trees, and chemically treating high-risk host trees.
ALB was first discovered in the United States in 1996 in Brooklyn, N.Y., likely arriving unknowingly inside wood packing material from Asia. The insect has no known natural predators and it threatens recreational areas, forests, and suburban and urban shade trees. The beetle bores through the tissues that carry water and nutrients throughout the tree, which causes the tree to starve, weaken and eventually die. Once a tree is infested, it must be removed. The invasive pest has caused the loss of over 147,000 trees in Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Illinois.
Members of the public are encouraged to inspect their trees for signs of damage caused by the insect and report any suspicious findings. The sooner an infestation is reported, the sooner efforts can be made to quickly contain and isolate an area from future destruction. People are reminded not to move firewood because it can unintentionally spread the pest. For more information or to report, please visit the APHIS Asian Longhorned Beetle webpage or www.asianlonghornedbeetle.com, or call 1-866-702-9938 to be connected to your ALB eradication program office or your State Plant Health Director’s office.