By Kristin Rover
Officials with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Agriculture are stressing the importance of the Asian longhorned beetle quarantine zones as eradication efforts continue.
The Asian longhorned beetle is an invasive pest that was discovered in Clermont County in 2011.
Ken Reed, with ODA, spoke with Batavia Township officials during their Sept. 8 meeting about the importance of not moving firewood from the ALB quarantine areas in Clermont County.
Reed said the very small area of ALB infestation found in Batavia and Stonelick townships was a satellite infestation they have traced to the movement of firewood from Tate Township.
“The prime example of what we have in your township is movement of firewood,” Reed said.
Reed said they believe movement of firewood is also responsible for the satellite infestation in Monroe Township.
He said satellite infestations may have happened from firewood movement that occurred before the Asian longhorned beetle was discovered in Tate Township.
“That is our biggest worry, of how many sites we have out there is movement of firewood,” Reed said.
Reed said program officials continue to survey areas throughout Clermont County to make sure no other satellite infestations exist, and they want to prevent any future satellite infestations from occurring.
Reed said he cannot stress enough for residents in the quarantine areas to not move firewood out of those areas. He also encouraged residents in the area to inspect their firewood if they have any.
“Inspect trees in your firewood stack for any insect damage,” Reed said.
Reed said East Fork State Park has prohibited firewood movement from the park.
Reed said they have not found an infestation in the park, but they are being proactive to prevent an infestation in the park.
He said that they have removed more than 8,000 high-risk host trees in part of the park that is just a few feet from infested trees.
“We put in a buffer area to try to keep it from getting into the park itself,” Reed said.
Reed said high risk host removals is one way to prevent ALB from spreading in areas where trees were infested.
He said they have also been using chemical treatments as part of the eradication efforts, including chemical treatments in Batavia, Stonelick, and Monroe townships, where the number of infested trees was low.
“We felt comfortable using chemical (treatment), because there were not many infested,” Reed said. “In Tate Township there were too many infested.”
Reed said as of the end of August, program officials have completed more than 12,000 infested tree removals, more than 42,000 high-risk host tree removals, and more than 26,000 chemical treatments in the county.
Reed also talked with trustees about signs of the Asian longhorned beetle including what an adult beetle looks like, how to recognize exit holes and egg sites on trees, and signs that a tree is infested.
He said anyone who believes they may have found an infestation, or anyone who has questions, should call the ALB program office at (513) 381-7180.
More information about the Asian longhorned beetle and eradication efforts in Clermont County is available at www.beetlebusters.info.