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Wasps released to battle EAB

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Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the pretty but deadly little Emerald Ash Borer.  This non-native bug has killed millions of Ash Trees in at least 25 states across the U.S.  Minnesota has been closely watching and working on ways to temper it’s march across the State’s estimated 9 million Ash trees.

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

As county after county have been quarantined, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture released over 182,500 wasps in the Twin Cities metro area and southeastern Minnesota.

stingless wasp to fight EAB

stingless wasp to fight EAB

After years of research and rigorous testing, scientists found the insect’s enemies – stingless wasps – in the EAB’s native Asia. This pest control strategy is referred to as biological control, or biocontrol, which pairs an invasive pest with natural enemies.

parasitic wasp

parasitic wasp

The wasps kill ash borer eggs and larvae. The wasps were produced and supplied by the United States Department of Agriculture EAB Parasitoid Rearing Facility in Brighton, Michigan. The facility makes the insects available to states fighting EAB.  This fall MDA staff have been able to recover stingless wasps in Great River Bluffs State Park near Winona. The tiny insects were released in the park in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Since the wasps only feed on EAB and have reproduced for several generations, scientists know the wasps have found and killed the little beast living in the park’s ash trees.

EAB with nickel

 

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