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Batavia, Stonelick townships declared free of invasive beetle

By Norwalk Reflector Staff • Mar 20, 2018 at 8:00 AM

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Service (USDA APHIS), has announced that Batavia and Stonelick townships in Clermont County are free from the invasive Asian longhorned beetle (ALB).

“With long days and hundreds of thousands of trees surveyed, this declaration today is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our state, federal and local partners,” said David T. Daniels, director of the ODA. “It is this collaboration that will achieve continued success in the fight to rid Ohio of this destructive pest.”

Daniels was joined by USDA APHIS representatives, as well as community leaders at an announcement ceremony March 15 and tree planting at the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office, an area contained within the previous Batavia and Stonelick quarantine area.

ODA and USDA APHIS will move to lift the quarantine of Stonelick and Batavia townships, reducing the regulated areas of Clermont County from 62 to 57 square miles.

The beetle first was discovered in Tate Township in Clermont County in June 2011. ALB quarantines remain in effect for Tate Township, East Fork State Park, portions of the East Fork Wildlife Area and a portion of Monroe Township.

“While we are thrilled with the announcement today, we still ask residents to remain vigilant and inspect their trees regularly for signs of the beetle. This satellite infestation was detected by an alert property owner and it is this type of awareness that will help us toward our goal of eradication,” said Matt Beal, chief of the ODA division of plant health.

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; 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.

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