Invasive Pest Outreach in Kentucky

Grants and Contracts Details


Early detection of invasive pests is critical to maintain the health of forest and landscape plants and public outreach is one of our best tools to achieve that goal. This project aims to increase public understanding, acceptance and support of early detection, eradication or control of invasive pests in Kentucky, particularly emerald ash borer (EAB), Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), imported fire ants (IFA), hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), walnut twig beetle (WTB)/thousand cankers disease (TCD), gypsy moth, and other pests of concern to federal, state and public constituencies. This project is a public awareness campaign aimed at raising awareness that invasive pests pose a threat to the state’s forests as well as the urban and rural environment. Our goal is to increase the likelihood that the public will look for and report invasive pests since early detection is critical for possible eradication efforts. The need for assistance arises from recent detections of invasive pests in Kentucky as well as several pests that are threatening the state. • EAB was found in Kentucky in May 2009 due to a homeowner calling about his dying ash trees. He used an EAB identification card produced by our office and obtained at an outreach booth, compared the symptoms with his trees, and called our office. • In June of 2011, ALB was discovered in Clermont County, Ohio. This county is located just across the Ohio River from Kentucky; therefore, this find is cause for great concern to the citizens and industries located in Kentucky. Quarantines and eradication efforts are underway in Ohio (14,552 trees confirmed to have ALB, 61 square miles of quarantined area as of 9/18/14; Media Update, Ohio Dept of Agriculture) and now is a critical time to educate and inform Kentuckians about the threat from this pest. Personnel in our office have made several site visits to potential ALB infestations, including private property and a landfill in northern Kentucky that was reported to have received tree waste from Ohio. ALB has not been discovered in Kentucky, but we need the public to be on the lookout for the beetle as well as its signs and symptoms. • IFA is a problem that continues to arise in western Kentucky due to the close proximity of infested areas in Tennessee. Eradication efforts are ongoing. With public outreach, we will have more eyes looking for mounds and informing us of problems that need to be addressed quickly before mounds spread. • HWA was discovered in eastern Kentucky by an employee of our office in April 2006. Control efforts are underway, including chemical treatments in some areas and biological control in others. • Several neighboring states including Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, and Tennessee have either found the fungus that causes TCD, the WTB, or both. Again, Kentuckians need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this pest. • We have been very successful in keeping gypsy moth out of Kentucky through close monitoring via detection and delimiting surveys. Even though it has become established in states surrounding Kentucky, this pest has not become established here. This is another pest that Kentuckians need to be able to recognize.
Effective start/end date9/1/168/31/17


  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: $54,491.00


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