Saturday, May 8, 2004

Owners of young trees rush to purchase mesh

By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FLORENCE - Mesh fabric is flying off store shelves faster than a newly emerged cicada.

Cicada watch 2004
Experts have recommended covering young trees with cheesecloth to protect the branches so female cicadas can't slice into them to lay their eggs. Residents are taking that advice.

"When I opened the door this morning there was a man waiting," said Janice Humphrey manager of Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts in Florence. "He bought 80 yards."

Luckily, the store had prepared for the rush and ordered 24 boxes with 80 yards of cheesecloth to a box. But by Friday afternoon, two boxes remained.

Customers argued over how much needed to cover a tree.

Jennifer Houser bought 40 yards at 99 cents a yard to cover five young trees at her Florence home.

Jim Giffin of Hebron bought 15 yards of nylon netting.

"My son was born three weeks ago, so I planted a couple of trees for him," he said, "I don't want to lose them."

Last month, a man bought 50 yards of bright purple tulle, Humphrey said. But cheesecloth was the most in demand.

"Every time the phone rings people have been calling for it," she said.

At Hancock Fabrics on Harrison Avenue in Dent, cheesecloth and nylon netting are gone. "Now we are down to the tulle," said assistant manager Mary Jo Ramer. "Any bride that hasn't gotten her veil is out of luck."

The store sold out of 1,000 yards of cheesecloth two weeks ago and the last shipment of green netting sold out in four hours, she said.

Ramer said the store has ordered more cheesecloth

"But the cicadas will probably get here before the cheesecloth does."


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