ODA quarantines southwest Ohio for invasive insect


XENIA — An invasive species of insect has pushed Greene County and the surrounding area into a quarantine.

According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), as of April 11, parts of Greene, Montgomery, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties have regulations in place to keep the invasive box tree moth at bay.

Regulations include restricting the movement of boxwood shrubs out of the area and encouraging landscapers and other residents to check quarantine boundaries and not transport the plants outside the designated area.

The quarantined area splits Xenia, with areas west of state routes 68 and 42 being inside the quarantined area. This includes all or parts of Xenia, Beavercreek, Bellbrook, and Fairborn in the quarantine.

A full map of the quarantined area can be found at www.agri.ohio.gov in the News section. ODA is also asking for residents who believe they have come across a box tree moth to take a clear photo and submit it to its website.

The invasive species was first discovered in June 2023 around the Clermont-Hamilton county border, according to ODA, and sightings have since expanded. Box tree moths are capable of killing boxwoods by heavy feeding and are native to sub-tropical regions in Asia, according to ODA.

There is no current schedule for when the quarantine will end, but residents are encouraged not to transport plants outside the designated area until further notice.

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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