An extremely unwelcome immigrant has come to Ohio. It is the hemlock wooly adelgid, a tiny creature that feeds on - and destroys - its namesake tree.
Wooly adelgids have been decimating hemlock forests for decades in eastern states. Entire stands of the trees, some majestic one-time lords of the forest that were centuries old, have been killed.
Now the bug has been found in Meigs County, Ohio, according to the state Department of Agriculture. Eight infested trees have been found. They will be cut down and burned in an attempt to keep the adelgid from spreading.
Unfortunately, that probably is a losing strategy in the long run, as we suspect state officials know. Efforts to stop the adelgid in its tracks have been unavailing for many years. Only a few methods of fighting them are available, and they are tree-by-tree, expensive treatments.
Ohioans should be pleased the Department of Agriculture is doing what it can to fight the adelgid - and should encourage the state to do all in its power, in cooperation with other states, the federal government and, perhaps, private industry, to beat the beast. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time until Buckeye State hemlocks are gone.