By Kristin Rover
The United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced that they will begin treating high risk host trees this month to prevent the spread of the Asian longhorned beetle in Clermont County.
Davey Tree Expert, the company that is currently completing surveys and tree removals of infested trees in the county, will be the contractor for the treatment applications as well.
Rhonda Santos, public information officer for USDA-APHIS, said Davey Tree Expert was one of two companies that submitted a bid for the treatment contract.
“Our contractor is going to have a post award meeting next week with the USDA,” Santos said about the next step in the process.
Santos said they will begin planning what areas, and what specific properties, they would like to suggest and perform Imidacloprid treatments.
“They will be treating in both of the areas identified for treatment,” Santos said. “Monroe and the Batavia Stonelick area.”
Santos said property owners who are in the treatment area will still have to give permission for Davey to treat trees on their land.
Santos said they are planning to use a combination of trunk and soil injections for treatment.
She said they are planning to begin treatments June 17 in Clermont County and are planning to be finished with treatments by the end of July.
“The window to treat is ideal to do before emergence,” Santos said about that time frame. “We are already in emergence period.”
Santos said beetles can begin emerging from trees in May. She said the percentage of emergence during this time is very low until the middle of the summer when the percentage of emergence is much higher.
“Typically we don’t see the higher numbers until August,” Santos said.
She said they also will end treatments in July because as the weather gets warmer and the ground gets harder, it becomes more difficult for the trees to absorb the treatment chemicals.
“We wouldn’t treat to the point where it becomes impossible for the tree to take the chemical,” she said.
Santos said they are considering fall treatments as part of a study for USDA-APHIS, but have not officially planned any treatments passed this summer.
“We are looking at fall treatments as a possibility for a study we are trying to complete,” Santos said. “We are still evaluating that is part of our research. We don’t have plans to conduct treatments in the fall.”
Santos said they do not have plans to complete treatments next year at this time.
“The hope is that we would still treat next year,” Santos said. “But that needs to be reviewed again next year. The decision to treat is a combination of factors.”
In addition to Imidacloprid treatments, USDA-APHIS and Davey Tree Expert will continue with infested tree removals and tree surveys in the Clermont County area.
The procedures are part of the continued eradication of the Asian longhorned beetle, an invasive insect that was discovered in Tate Township in June of 2011.
For more information about the eradication efforts, or about the Asian longhorned beetle, visit www.beetlebusters.info.