Canada

Pembroke, NRCan Forest Service to fight tree killing beetle with wasps

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According to the Government of Canada Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the wasps being used as a natural control agent against the emerald ash borer are very small, being less than four millimetres in length, and do not sting humans.

The emerald ash borer is an invasive beetle that feeds on ash trees. Photo by Bill McNee /Southeast Wisconsin, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

The emerald ash borer was first confirmed in North America in 2002 and was confirmed in Ottawa in 2008. Nearby municipalities such as Arnprior have already been affected by the ash borer and the cost of removal of affected ash trees has been boring into their budgets.

NRCan’s Emerald Ash Borer biocontrol project has been conducting releases of the small wasps in the field since 2013. To date 291,000 of the wasps have been released at 26 other sites in Ontario, including Renfrew and Ottawa, and in Quebec and New Brunswick. The wasps are capable of living solely on ash borers and they look for trees infested with the small beetles.

In order to participate in the project, Pembroke had to agree not to harvest or develop the property at the end of D’Youville Drive for four or five years in order to allow the wasps to establish.

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Jones is expected to start using the site for research and releases in the spring of 2021.

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The Emerald Ash Borer is an evasive species devastating many forests. The trail pattern shown in the image is the pattern left by the bugs destruction between the bark and the wood. Tony Savino Getty Images
This is the pattern left by the emerald ash borer between the bark and the wood. Photo by Tony Savino /Getty Images/iStockphoto

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