An insect that poses a serious threat to trees has made its way into our area.
On Friday the Ohio Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer in Muskingum County. Mark Ochs of Ochs Tree Service said the pest belongs to a group of metallic wood-boring beetles.
"It eventually kills the tree," said Ochs. "It invades it, weakens it, feeds off of it and lays eggs that feed off of it. The tree is not cured, so it gets overwhelmed."
Residents are being urged to use caution when transporting firewood to help protect against the artificial spread of the emerald ash borer. Ochs said he doesn't have to look hard to find the damage caused by these bugs.
"If I go past Granville and head west, it's obvious that they're everywhere," said Ochs. "I drive around and ask people if they want their dead trees removed. It's that obvious."
A federal quarantine for Ohio, enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, remains in effect. This quarantine makes it illegal to transport ash trees out of the state. For more information, visit www.agri.ohio.gov.