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Invasive Pests
emerald ash borer

Invasive Insects

Several invasive plants and insects are monitored and controlled by the Department, including the European 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.

Emerald Ash Borer

emerald ash borer beetleEmerald 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.

Gypsy Moth

gypsy moth

The European gypsy moth (Lymantria 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 gypsy moth populations.

Walnut Twig Beetle & 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, and is mostly found in Western United States. Currently, there is a quarantine in Butler county, Ohio to stop the spread of the beetle and fungus.

Invasive 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, European wand loosestrife (Lythrum virgatum) can be sold until January 2019, and callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) can be sold until January 2023.

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.

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:

  • Ailanthus altissima, tree-of-heaven;
  • Alliaria petiolata, garlic mustard
  • Berberis vulgaris, common barberry;
  • Butomus umbellatus, flowering rush;
  • Celastrus orbiculatus, oriental bittersweet;
  • Centaurea stoebe ssp. Micranthos, spotted knapweed;
  • Dipsacus fullonum, common teasel;
  • Dipsacus laciniatus, cutleaf teasel;
  • Egeria densa Brazilian, elodea;
  • Elaeagnus angustifolia, russian olive;
  • Elaeagnus umbellata, autumn olive;
  • Epilobium hirsutum; hairy willow herb;
  • Frangula alnus, glossy buckthorn;
  • Heracleum mantegazzianum, giant hogweed;
  • Hesperis matronlis, dame's rocket;
  • Hydrilla verticillata, hydrilla;
  • Hydrocharis morsus-ranae, european frog-bit;
  • Lonicera japonica, japanese honeysuckle;
  • Lonicera maackii, amur honeysuckle;
  • Lonicera morrowii, morrow's honeysuckle;
  • Lonicera tatarica, tatarian honeysuckle;
  • Lythrum salicaria, purple loosestrife;
  • Lythrum virgatum, european wand loosestrife; (effective January 2019)
  • Microstegium vimineum, japanese stiltgrass;
  • Myriophyllum aquaticum, parrotfeather;
  • Myriophyllum spicatum, eurasian water-milfoil;
  • Nymphoides peltata, yellow floating heart;
  • Phragmites australis, common reed;
  • Potamogeton crispus, curly-leaved pondweed;
  • Pueraria montana var. lobate, kudzu;
  • Pyrus calleryana, callery pear; (effective January 2023)
  • Ranunculus ficaria, fig buttercup/lesser celandine;
  • Rhamnus cathartica, european buckthorn;
  • Rosa multiflora; multiflora rose
  • Trapa natans, water chestnut;
  • Typha angustifolia, narrow-leaved cattail;
  • Typha x glauca, hybrid cattail;
  • Vincetoxicum nigrum, black dog-strangling vine, black swallowwort

Noxious Weeds

There are currently 21 noxious weeds prohibited 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. Prohibited noxious weeds differ from Restricted noxious weeds, in that restricted weeds, while objectionable in fields, lawns, or gardens, can be controlled by good cultural practices.

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.

For the current list of Prohibited noxious weeds, see OAC 901:5-37. The following plants are designated "prohibited noxious weeds":

  • Amaranthus palmeri, Palmer amaranth;
  • Bassia scoparia, Kochia;
  • Brassica kaber var. pinnatifida, Wild mustard;
  • Carduus nutans, Musk thistle;
  • Chrysanthermum leucanthemum var. pinnatifidum, Oxeye daisy;
  • Cirsium arvense L. (Scop.), Canada thistle;
  • Conium maculatum, Poison hemlock;
  • Conyza canadensis, Marestail;
  • Heracleum mantegazzianum, Giant Hogweed;
  • Lythrum salicaria, Purple loosestrife;
  • Nicandra physalodes, Apple of Peru;
  • Pastinaca sativa, Wild parsnip;
  • Polygonum cuspidatum, Japanese knotweed;
  • Polygonum perfoliatum, Mile-A-Minute Weed;
  • Pueraria montana var. lobata, Kudzu;
  • Daucus carota L., Wild carrot, Queen Annes lace;
  • Salsola Kali var. tenuifolia, Russian thistle;
  • Senecio glabellus, Cressleaf groundsel;
  • Sorghum bicolor, Shatter cane;
  • Sorghum halepense L. (Pers.), Johnsongrass;
  • Grapevines: when growing in groups of one hundred or more and not pruned, sprayed, cultivated, or otherwise maintained for two consecutive years