August is Tree Check Month
From the shade they provide, to the gifts they give, to the memories they hold, trees have always been a vital component of the Ohio landscape. At the Ohio Department of Agriculture we are in the business of helping trees grow. Our Plant Pest Control Program helps protect the state’s plant nurseries by performing annual inspections to detect pests that pose a threat to plants and trees. However, we only have so many sets of eyes. We depend on the citizens of Ohio to report any pest that might look suspicious and threaten Ohio trees. One invasive pest in particular poses a tremendous threat; the Asian Longhorned Beetle. That is why we are encouraging Ohioans to take some time this month to check their trees for signs of the Asian Longhorned Beetle.
Asian Longhorned Beetles were first discovered in the United States in 1996, likely arriving inside wood packing material from Asia. Asian Longhorned Beetles are large, shiny black insects measuring 1 to 1 ½ inches long, not including antennae, with random white spots. Their white-banded antennae can be as long as the body itself on females and almost twice the body length on males. The invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle grows, reproduces in and kills up to 13 genera of trees such as maple, birch, horse chestnut, poplar, willow, elm, ash and even the state tree, buckeye.
Asian Longhorned Beetle was first confirmed in Ohio in 2011. The beetles were found to be infesting trees in Tate Township in Clermont County. In addition to the Ohio infestation, the beetle is currently found in parts of Massachusetts and New York, with eradication efforts succeeding in Illinois and New Jersey. We continue to work with the United State Department of Agriculture Animal and Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and other partners to eradicate the Asian Longhorned Beetle from Ohio. In an effort to detect and prevent future infestations of Asian Longhorned Beetle, USDA APHIS has declared the month of August as Tree Check Month.
By knowing the signs, any citizen can help be on the lookout for the Asian Longhorned Beetle. Signs of Asian Longhorned Beetle infestation include perfectly round exit holes (about 3/8 to 1/2 inch in diameter) made by adult beetles when they emerge from trees; the pockmarks on tree trunks and branches where female beetles deposit eggs; frass (wood shavings and saw dust) produced by larvae feeding and tunneling; early fall coloration of leaves or dead branches; and running sap produced by the tree at the egg laying sites, or in response to larval tunneling.
For more information on the Asian Longhorned Beetle, please make sure to visit www.asianlonghornedbeetle.com. There you will find tips on how to check for the beetle and interactive tools to learn more about this invasive pest. If you suspect you see signs of the Asian Longhorned Beetle, make sure to take photographs and report the finding to officials through the Asian Longhorned Beetle website above, by calling the Asian Longhorned Beetle Hotline at 855-252-6450 or by email at email@example.com.