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Pest Alerts

Invasive species have created one of the most serious economic, social, and environmental threats of the 21st century. They have a large impact on both uninhabited and inhabited areas throughout our state and the entire country. Preventing or reducing the devastating impacts of invasive pests and diseases poses a difficult challenge nationwide. As the rise of international travel and the importation from other countries continue to grow, the threat from invasive species also rises. The Ohio Department of Agriculture works alongside all 50 states while seeking to maintain, enhance, and protect our communities.

ODA provides technical assistance on plant health-related matters, including invasive insects, pathogens, and invasive plants through survey and monitoring efforts, to prevent, suppress, and control outbreaks threatening Ohio’s resources.

Invasive & Noxious Plants

In order to protect native plant species and thwart the growth of invasive plant species, 38 plants have been declared invasive in Ohio. No person shall sell, offer for sale, propagate, distribute, import or intentionally cause the dissemination of any invasive plant in the state of Ohio.

Currently, callery pear Pyrus calleryana can be sold until January 2023.

There are over 25 prohibited noxious weeds in Ohio; these are weeds that reproduce by seed, spread by roots, underground stems, or other reproductive parts, and, when established, are highly destructive and difficult to control. No one can sell any agricultural, vegetable, or flower seeds if they contain the seed of a prohibited noxious weed. Ohio law also gives local jurisdictions the authority to control prohibited noxious weeds when found.

Shipments to other states
Many other states also have regulations prohibiting or restricting the sales of certain plants that have been deemed to be invasive or noxious. Please check with your nursery inspector if you have questions about shipping plants out of Ohio and to ensure you have the most current lists of prohibited invasive plants.

Invasive Plant List

For the current list of invasive plants, see OAC 901:5-30-01. A five-person invasive plant advisory committee will review potential future additions to the invasive plant list. The following plants are designated as invasive in Ohio:

Noxious Weed List

For the current list of prohibited noxious weeds, see OAC 901:5-37-01. There is also a list of prohibited and restricted weed seeds, which can be found at OAC 901:5-27-06. The following plants are designated "prohibited noxious weeds":

Invasive Insects

Several invasive plants and insects are monitored and controlled by ODA, including the European spongy moth (formerly gypsy moth), asian longhorned beetle, walnut twig beetle, and the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Asian Longhorned Beetle

Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) is a destructive wood-boring pest of maple and other hardwoods, eventually killing them. In June 2011, the Asian Longhorned Beetle was discovered in Tate Township in Clermont County. This invasive beetle has no known natural predators and poses a threat to Ohio's hardwood forests (more than $2.5 billion in standing maple timber) and the state's $5 billion nursery industry which employs nearly 240,000 people.

Box Tree Moth

Box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) is an invasive pest destructive to boxwood plants. Native to temperate and sub-tropical regions in Asia, it was first reported in Europe in 2007, after which it spread rapidly across Europe into Western Asia and Northern Africa. In 2018, it was documented in Canada, and now has been confirmed in the US.

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald ash borer (Agrilus Planipennis), an ash tree-killing insect from Asia, was first identified in Ohio in 2003. The pest has since spread from the initial detection near Toledo to all of the counties in the state. Because the pest has established itself throughout all of Ohio, in July 2011 ODA lifted the quarantine regulations in place for emerald ash borer within the state. Ohio is still inside the Federal quarantine boundary, and the movement of EAB regulated articles cannot exit the quarantine boundaries without Federal permits.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) is a serious pest of Eastern (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina (Tsuga caroliniana) hemlocks of all sizes. Native to Asia, HWA was first discovered in North America in British Columbia in 1924. In February 2012, the first infestation in a natural stand of hemlock in Ohio was discovered in Meigs County. Since then HWA has been found in hemlock stands in other eastern Ohio counties as well.

European Spongy Moth (formerly Gypsy Moth)

The European spongy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar) is a non-native, invasive species that has been advancing into Ohio from Pennsylvania and Michigan for years. In its caterpillar stage, it feeds on the leaves of over 300 different tree and shrub species and is especially fond of oak. A healthy tree can usually withstand only two years of defoliation before it is permanently damaged or dies. To date, 51 of Ohio's 88 counties have established populations.

Spotted Lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an insect native to China, India, and Vietnam, and feeds on fruit, ornamental, and woody trees, including tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima). Spotted lanternfly was first detected in eastern Pennsylvania in September 2014 and was likely brought to the United States by imported woody plants, wood products, and other commodities. They have now established populations in several eastern states, including Ohio. Residents are advised to be on the alert for this pest and report any possible sightings. State quarantine rules were implemented in October 2021 to restrict movement of regulated materials into or through non-regulated areas.

Plant Diseases

ODA analyzes plant and soil samples collected by inspectors and industry to test for viral, bacterial, fungal, oomycete, and nematode pathogens.

Bacterial Leaf Scorch (BLS)

Coming soon!  

Beech Leaf Disease (BLD)

Beech leaf disease (BLD) is a disease affecting American, European, Oriental, and Chinese beech species in North America. Detections of BLD within nursery stock, parks and the urban setting has caused a great deal of concern. BLD symptoms have been shown, through a multi-state collaborative research effort, to be associated with the nematode (a microscopic worm) Litylenchus crenatae mccannii.

Beech Bark Disease

Coming soon!


Boxwood Blight

Boxwood blight disease is caused by the fungal plant pathogen Calonectria pseudonaviculata. This disease has been confirmed to be in Ohio's landscape. This fungus infects several members of the Buxaceae family including boxwood (Buxus spp.), Japanese spurge (Pachysandra terminalis), Allegheny spurge (P. procumbens), and sweetbox (Sarcococca spp.). Some species are more susceptible then others.

Chestnut Blight

Chestnut blight is caused by the fungal plant pathogen Cryphonectria parasitica (formerly Endothia parasitica). It was accidentally introduced to North America on imported Asiatic chestnut trees. Since the Chinese chestnut trees have evolved alongside of this pathogen they are not susceptible, though the American trees are highly susceptible.

Laurel Wilt

Laurel wilt disease is caused by the fungal plant pathogen Raffaellea lauricola. This disease is transmitted to trees and shrubs of the laurel family (Lauraceae) by the wood-boring redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus). These beetles are considered an invasive species, native to Asia and first detected in Georgia in 2002.

Oak Wilt (OW)

Oak wilt is caused by the fungal pathogen, Bretziella fagacearum (formerly Ceratocystis fagacearum) Oak wilt is an aggressive disease that affects many species of oak and chestnut trees. It is one of the most serious tree diseases in the eastern United States, killing thousands of trees each year in forests, woodlots, and home landscapes. Oak wilt has also been detected throughout Ohio.

Soybean Rust

Coming soon!  

Sudden Oak Death/Ramorum blight (SOD)

Sudden Oak Death and Ramorum blight are both caused by the plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. Phytophthora ramorum is a water mold that has caused widespread dieback of several tree species in forests on the western side of the USA and has caused severe damage to many nursery and forest plants. Infection can occur on tree trunks, stems, and leaves. Phytophthora ramorum was first discovered in California in the mid-1990s and its origin is unknown.

Thousand Cankers Disease

Thousand cankers disease (Geosmithia morbida) is a fungus which attacks the black walnut tree. This fungus is transmitted by the Walnut Twig Beetle (Pityophthorus juglandis), and is mostly found in Western United States. The Ohio quarantine rules were rescinded in October 2021.

White pine blister rust

Coming soon!