Insecticide Treatment Study Planned and New Removal Contractors Begin in Clermont County, Ohio for Asian Longhorned Beetles Eradication

Insecticide Treatment Study Planned and New Removal Contractors Begin in Clermont County, Ohio for Asian Longhorned Beetles Eradication

Contact:
Rhonda Santos, (508) 852-8044
rhonda.j.santos@aphis.usda.gov
Suzanne Bond, (301) 851-4070
suzanne.m.bond@aphis.usda.gov

Washington, June 15, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) together with the Ohio Department of Agriculture today announced an insecticide treatment study and new tree removal contractors for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) eradication program taking place in Clermont County, Ohio.

“We know the beetle is slow to spread on its own during the early stages of an infestation, so we are hoping that the study will show us if using insecticide in smaller, more-targeted areas could provide another valuable tool to eliminate the beetle in Ohio,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ national operations manager for the ALB eradication program. “The goal is to eradicate the beetle, and APHIS will continue to remove any infested trees as they are found.”

The ALB quarantines in Clermont County, Ohio consist of areas that are mostly rural and heavily wooded, which can make some eradication methods more challenging to perform. The study will look to see if applying insecticide treatments in a small area can be effective in reducing beetle populations.

The study will identify properties that include woodlots bordering infested trees that have been removed. With the property owner’s permission, insecticide would be injected into non-infested host trees up to a twenty meter radius (about 65 feet) from the infested tree locations. Suitable properties to receive insecticide treatments will have some or all of the following key attributes:

  1. some distance from the core infestation (see Ohio quarantine map);
  2. multiple infested trees have been removed from the property within the past 2 years;
  3. numerous host trees exist within twenty meters from the previously infested trees.

The ALB eradication program will contact property owners directly for permission to participate in the study. Insecticide treatments will be conducted for three years using direct trunk injection in the spring and/or early summer. Surveys of the treated trees will be conducted following leaf drop and at the completion of the study. As part of the study, scientists with APHIS’ Center for Plant Health Science and Technology will conduct all insecticide treatments per the insecticide’s product label to ensure that the proper rate will be used. The treatment method and insecticide are the same as what was used to fight the beetle in the Monroe Township and Stonelick/Batavia Township quarantine areas in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The generic name of the insecticide is Imidacloprid. It is a systemic insecticide commonly used for the control of insect pests in both agricultural and residential use, such as aphids, cockroaches, termites, soil insects, thrips, whiteflies, rice hoppers and some beetles. It is also used in products for pets, such as in flea and tick prevention, and it has been sold in the United States since 1994. Imidacloprid is a registered pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and it is approved for ALB eradication program use.

Additionally, two new tree removal contractors, Beach’s Trees Selective Harvesting out of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Sidelines Tree Service out of Oakdale, Pennsylvania will begin working for the ALB eradication program in Ohio this month – the contract with the previous vendor ended in May. The new contractors are small business vendors whose work will focus on tree removal and property restoration activities tied to efforts to eradicate the beetle.  The previous removal contractor, Davey Tree Expert Company, is a subcontractor of Beach’s Trees Selective Harvesting.  For questions about the new contractors please call the Ohio ALB eradication program at 513‐381‐7180.

USDA partners with federal, state and local municipalities to eradicate ALB and protect our nation’s trees and recreational and forest resources. Support from the public is crucial in achieving eradication. Residents are encouraged to inspect their trees for signs of damage caused by the Asian longhorned beetle and report any suspicious findings. Uncertified firewood and other regulated articles are prohibited from leaving the ALB regulated areas. For more information about the Asian Longhorned beetle and ALB program activities, please visit www.aphis.usda.gov/pests-diseases/alb.

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