Fairfield bugs Butler County

July 3, 2013 by  

Fairfield, Ohio, is suddenly drawing attention to Butler County, in which it is located, since the Walnut Twig Beetle has been found there.

The beetle is approximately the size of a sesame seed, and harbors a fungus that causes an ailment called the ‘Thousand Cankers Disease’, which attacks and destroys walnut trees.

Ohio’s Department of Agriculture decided to quarantine all of the unprocessed walnut products so they could not leave Butler County. Butler is the only county in the state to fall under these restrictions.

The beetle was first discovered last year at Böhlke Veneers, a Fairfield company located on Symmes Road. Traps were set at the company, and eight beetles were discovered. More recently, 26 traps were set within a mile of Böhlke, and the insects were found in nine of them. Despite the presence of the beetles, no diseased walnut trees have been found in the state.

At Böhlke Veneers, manager Nick Böhlke said there is no need for anyone to panic, and describes the Agriculture Department’s efforts as containment measures only. The quarantine has proven somewhat costly for the company, however, as it can no longer resell unused timber to local lumberyards. Böhlke is not sure where the company picked up the beetle, but thinks it might have come from California, which has been battling the bug.

The state’s Department of Agriculture will no doubt want to stop any potential panic or misunderstanding of the situation, and to do that, it could work with brochure printers to create a mailer that explains the facts of the situation and why the quarantine is necessary.