Officials Discover Hemlock Pest In Washington County

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The Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources today announced the discovery of a hemlock-killing pest in Washington County.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, also known as HWA is a small, aphid-like insect native to Asia that threatens the health and sustainability of eastern and Carolina hemlock in the eastern United States.

According to a news release, the infestation was confirmed in Washington County after citizens reported suspicious hemlocks to state officials.

About 400 hemlocks out of 1,000 surveyed were found infested.

The departments say further surveys will be conducted in the surrounding areas to determine the scope of the infestation.

The ODA will move to expand its hemlock quarantine to include Washington and Meigs counties.

HWA is primarily transmitted by wind and birds.

Officials believe the discovery of the insect in Ohio is the result of natural spread from nearby areas where the pest is established.