Invasive Pests in Ohio That Can Damage Trees (Part 1)

emerald ash borer tree damage

While we have posted information about common tree pests in the past, here in southern Ohio, we always need to check up on certain pests that can wreak havoc on our local native tree population. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources does terrific, vital work in keeping up with these infestations.

Here are five insects that are currently threatening our Cincinnati-area trees, and what to look out for.

Emerald Ash Borer

Endangered tree: ASH

emerald ash borer tree damage

First spotted in Toledo in 2003, the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus Planipennis, or EAB) has made its way to southern Ohio too. There is a federal quarantine boundary with these dangerous bugs. Ohio has 3.8 billion ash trees, so any insect that threatens those trees is worth serious attention. Adult EABs are dark metallic green. They fly from May until September, and are a half-inch song and an eighth-inch wide.

Gypsy Moth

Endangered tree: OAK, along with 300 other tree varieties

This is an invasive species that particularly loves oak trees, but also eats the leaves of hundreds of other tree species. If gypsy moths feed on a healthy tree for two years, that tree can be permanently damaged, or die. The gypsy moths came to Ohio from Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Asian Longhorned Beetle

Endangered tree: MAPLE and other hardwoods

Clermont County is where this beetle was first discovered. Restricted areas are Tate, Monroe, and Stonelick Townships, along with East Fork State Park. No trees or cut wood are allowed to be transported out of these areas. Beware the Asian longhorned beetle.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Endangered tree: HEMLOCK

If you see white, cottony sacs at the base of the needles on your Hemlock tree, then you likely have Adelgids. These tiny bugs suck sap from young twigs, and that makes needles fall off.

Walnut Twig Beetle

Endangered tree: BLACK WALNUT

Butler County is under quarantine, as this beetle was found there. It transmits “thousand cankers disease.” Speaking of tree diseases – more about those next time.

Stay tuned for Part 2…