The United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, along with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, announced plans March 31 for the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program in 2014.
According to the USDA-APHIS, many of the current eradication efforts will continue through 2014, including tree surveys, infested tree removals, chemical treatments in select areas, and more.
Phillip Baldauf, ALB project manager for USDA-APHIS, said the agency continues to remove infested trees in Clermont County.
“We expect there to be more infested trees found in the areas with high infestations for a while,” Baldauf said.
Currently, 10,741 infested trees have been removed from Clermont County, according to USDA-APHIS.
Baldauf said program officials feel they have found the perimeter of the infested area.
“We are not finding more infested trees outside those areas,” Baldauf said. “We have surrounded the infested area with surveys. Now we’re starting to survey for a second cycle.”
Baldauf said surveys will continue through 2014.
According to USDA-APHIS and ODA, 1,126,634 trees have been surveyed from July 1, 2011 through March 29, 2014.
Baldauf said they will continue to offer high-risk host tree removals in 2014 in areas the feel are best for the removals.
“We make that offer to the property owner and they decide if they want to take that offer,” Baldauf said.
According to USDA-APHIS, 24,104 high-risk host trees have been removed from Clermont County.
Baldauf said chemical treatments will resume in the same areas as last year in Monroe, Stonelick and Batavia townships.
Last year, 13,232 trees were treated in those areas, according to USDA-APHIS.
In addition to chemical treatments, Baldauf said research staff with USDA-APHIS is testing and developing pheromone traps in Ohio.
He said the research program has been testing the traps, which are designed to attract and kill adult beetles, for about two years.
“They are about one foot tall, black, plastic paneling coated so that when the beetle lands they can’t grab and they slip down into a collection basin,” Baldauf said about the traps.
Baldauf encouraged property owners in Clermont County to continue to check their own trees.
“The beetle will begin to emerge at the end of May, but that can fluctuate based on how cold of a spring we have,” Baldauf said.
For more information visit www.beetlebusters.info or call the program office at (513) 381-7180.