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Published: Tuesday, 5/23/2006

Vehicles to be checked for bug-infested firewood

Federal and state officials will be checking vehicles for illegally transported firewood at several checkpoints in northwest Ohio prior to the Memorial Day weekend, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The inspections, planned for Thursday and Friday at undisclosed locations, are an effort to prevent the spread of invasive pests, particularly the emerald ash borer beetle, whose larvae can kill an ash tree in as little as three years and already have destroyed millions of ash trees in Ohio and Michigan.

Outbreaks in both states have been attributed to firewood or landscaping trees illegally transported from quarantined areas infested by the beetle.

Infestations in Ohio have been identified in Defiance, Delaware, Erie, Franklin, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Huron, Lorain, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Williams, and Wood counties.

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