Invasive pest detected in Ohio; Quarantine starts today for several counties

DAYTON — Several southwest Ohio counties, including some in the Miami Valley, are under a quarantine aimed at preventing the spread of an invasive insect- the box tree moth.

>>PHOTOS: Invasive Box Tree Moth found in Ohio

Starting today, Butler, Greene, Montgomery, Warren, Clermont, and Hamilton counties will have regulations in place restricting the movement of boxwood shrubs out of the area, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The ODA is encouraging landscapers and residents in the impacted counties to check the quarantine boundaries and not transport the plants outside of the quarantined areas.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Invasive pest detected in Ohio; several counties under quarantine

News Center 7 previously reported that the box tree moth was detected in June 2023 near the border of Hamilton and Clermont counties. Since then, more sightings have been confirmed in the counties under quarantine.

The invasive pests pose a threat to boxwood plantings and the horticulture industry.

Both the ODA’s plant health inspectors and the United States Department of Agriculture’s staff will be conducting inspections and placing traps to monitor populations.

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You can look for and report any potential infestations by:

  • Familiarizing yourself with the insect’s appearance and evidence of damage on boxwood shrubs
  • Checking any boxwood plants you have for signs of box tree moth life stages
  • Taking pictures and reporting any evidence of infestation.

The moth caterpillars are green and yellow with white, yellow, and black stripes and black spots. Adult moths are nocturnal and have white, slightly iridescent wings, with an irregular thick brown border.

ODA says the evidence of damage from the moths includes chewed, cut, or missing leaves, yellowing or brown leaves, white webbing, and green-black excrement on or around the plant.

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