Tree-killing beetle found in southwestern Ohio wildlife area

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say trees infested with the Asian longhorned beetle have been found in a wildlife area in southwestern Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture says the center of the newly discovered infestation is in a portion of the East Fork Wildlife Area in Clermont County. Officials say tree inspection crews are surveying to determine the extent of the infestation and any infested trees will be removed.

The bullet-shaped, white-spotted black beetle was first identified in the state in 2011 and has led to removal of thousands of infested or high-risk trees in southwest Ohio. The beetle kills maples and many other hardwood tree species.

The wildlife area contains more than 2,700 acres that are managed by Ohio’s Division of Wildlife for public hunting and fishing.