Rhonda Santos, (508) 852-8044
Suzanne Bond, (301) 851-4070
WASHINGTON, September 12, 2018 — Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture announced that they have eliminated the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) from Monroe Township in Clermont County, Ohio. This announcement comes just months after APHIS declared Stonelick Township free of the beetle in March.
“Monroe Township is the second area in Ohio where we have eradicated this beetle,” said Greg Ibach, USDA’s Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “Thanks to the close cooperation of our partners and the community at large, we were able to rid the area of this damaging beetle and remove the burdensome quarantine that residents and businesses have endured for the last 7 years.”
The beetle was discovered in Monroe Township in August 2011. The infestation was linked to the local movement of infested firewood in late 2010. To control the pest, APHIS and the Ohio Department of Agriculture enacted a half-square mile regulated area in Monroe Township within Clermont County. Since then, APHIS and its partners enforced restrictions on the movement of host materials from the quarantine area, surveyed more than 214,000 trees, removed 1,186 host trees, and treated 4,614 high-risk host trees. After completing final tree surveys in August, APHIS confirmed the beetle is no longer there.
The eradication of the beetle from Monroe Township and the removal of the associated ALB quarantine reduces the regulated areas in Ohio to 56.5 square miles. One ALB quarantine remains in effect in Clermont County, encompassing all of East Fork State Park, Tate Township, and a portion of Williamsburg Township.
ALB was first discovered in the United States in 1996 in Brooklyn, NY. It likely arrived hidden 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 180,000 trees in Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois.
Members of the public are urged 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, 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.
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