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What is the history of the emerald ash borer in Ohio?

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Quick Answer

The emerald ash borer beetle was first detected in Ohio in 2003, prompting numerous forest and wood quarantines. Despite these efforts, the pest continued to spread throughout the state. The Ohio Department of Agriculture has attempted to protect the state's 3.8 billion ash trees for over a decade with regulations, public outreach programs and detection. The spread of the insect is most commonly caused by the transportation of firewood.

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Full Answer

The original infestation was detected near Toledo, but the insect was also found in Cincinnati, Dayton, Cleveland, Columbus and the Wayne National Forest shortly after. Emerald ash borer beetles bore under the bark of ash trees to deposit their larvae. An infested tree dies within three to five years after being invaded.

Although there is no in-state quarantine in Ohio, homeowners and campers are encouraged not to take firewood out of the county where it is harvested. Firewood quarantines in the state remain in effect, as of 2015, for Asian Longhorn Beetle and Gypsy moth infestations in some counties.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture does not perform ash tree inspections on private land. Instead, the organization suggests contacting a certified arborist for such a service. The state also funds programs to help remove and dispose of infested trees.

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