By Kristin Rover
Officials with the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Ohio Department of Agriculture spoke with Amelia village council members during their Nov. 12 meeting about the Asian longhorned beetle infestation in the area.
Phil Baldauf, program manager of the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program, thanked Amelia Mayor Todd Hart for inviting him to talk with council members and residents.
“Amelia is close enough to the infestations I think it is wise to educate your citizens,” Baldauf said.
The invasive Asian longhorned beetle was first discovered in Tate Township in June of 2011.
Since then, the eradication program has been working to remove infested trees and prevent the spread of the beetle in Ohio.
Baldauf talked about the history of the beetle, how to identify trees that have been infested by the beetle, and he stressed the importance of the quarantine areas, located in Tate, Monroe and Stonelick townships, during the meeting.
Baldauf said they have found Asian longhorned beetle infestations in Maple, Willow, Elm, Buckeye, Poplar, Birch and Sycamore trees in Ohio.
“Maple by far is the most common,” Baldauf said.
Baldauf highlighted signs of the beetle including finding adult beetles, seeing ovi-positioning holes and exit holes in the bark of the tree, and finding frass, a sawdust-like substance from burrowing larvae.
Baldauf said in Ohio, the largest infestation is in Tate Township, with two satellite infestations in Monroe Township and Stonelick Township.
“The program was made aware of Monroe Township in 2011,” Baldauf said. “The infestation in Stonelick and Batavia we weren’t aware of until 2012.”
Baldauf said they removed approximately 40 infested trees in Monroe Township and only three trees in Stonelick Township.
“Those satellite locations are directly attributed to the movement of firewood from Tate Township,” Baldauf said.
Baldauf said especially with more people using firewood now that it is getting colder, it is important for residents to know about how the quarantine area works.
Baldauf said it is against the law for residents to move firewood from the quarantined areas.
According to USDA-APHIS Asian longhorned beetle website, regulated materials include firewood from all hardwood species and green lumber from living, cut and dead material including nursery stock, logs, stumps, roots, branches and debris.
He said the quarantine map and information about the quarantine can be found at www.beetlebusters.info, along with more information regarding the quarantine.
Baldauf said it is also important for residents, especially in areas close to the infestation, like Amelia, to check their trees and look for any of the signs of an Asian longhorned beetle infestation.
“We would very much prefer to get a call for a false alarm than to have it be an infestation,” Baldauf said.
Baldauf said the can find more information about the beetle on the website or by calling the office at (513) 381-7180.