Ash borer might have been isolated

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REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Agriculture has found no new signs of emerald ash borer in Ohio since an April eradication procedure eliminated the ash tree-destroying pest from an area in Lucas County.

The state will begin an expanded survey to ensure the pest does not exist here.

Ohio Agriculture Director Fred L. Dailey said departmental surveys show that this was an isolated problem.

Survey expanded. Beginning in July, the department will expand its survey to include the following 20 counties: Allen, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Marion, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot.

Department plant pest inspectors surveyed the area where the pest was originally found, looking for signs of adult insects that would have emerged from their cocoons in the last month.

Other borers out there. In addition to inspecting in the Whitehouse area, inspectors and local extension agents have responded to hundreds of reports from concerned citizens. None of those reports have resulted in a diagnosis of emerald ash borer infestations.

“We’re seeing a lot of native borer activity that can often mimic the damage caused by the emerald ash borer,” said Tom Harrison, Ohio Department of Agriculture plant pest manager.

“Native ash borers can attack trees stressed by drought and other environmental factors, but native borer infestations are generally not as fatal, fast-spreading, or difficult to remedy as emerald ash borer infestations.” 

Eradication efforts. In May, the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service committed $300,000 for continued survey efforts and to reimburse the state for expenses incurred during survey and eradication in April, when the department cut, chipped, and removed about 4,000 ash trees from 23 properties in Lucas County.

About 100 ash trees on other properties farther from the infestation were treated with imidacloprid, an insecticide injected into the tree that has been effective in experiments in preventing new infestations.

The Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) is an invasive species from Asia that belongs to a group of insects known as metallic wood-boring beetles.

Adults are dark metallic green in color, a half inch in length and 1/16 inch wide. They are present from mid May until late July.

Larvae are creamy white in color and invade and damage the tree the rest of the year.

It will typically kill an ash tree within three years.

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