The emerald ash borer (EAB) has officially been detected in three New Jersey counties: Somerset, Burlington and Mercer. EAB was first detected in New Jersey in May 2014 and is present in 25 states. Since its discovery in 2002, it has killed tens of millions of trees.
Maryland has also confirmed EAB in four more counties: Baltimore, Harford, Dorchester and Queen Anne. The Maryland Department of Agriculture began releasing biocontrol agents, insects that attack and kill the EAB, in 2009. MDA will be releasing them again this year in Charles, Anne Arundel and Howard counties. Over 210,000 parasitoids have been released since 2009 to help with the EAB destruction.
While New Jersey and Maryland aren’t so lucky, Minnesota native wasps could help in the fight against the EAB. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the University of Minnesota teamed up on a Wasp Watchers program, which uses volunteers to look for and monitor the pests.
“By monitoring the wasps and collecting beetles they may have gathered, we can locate new EAB finds and gather more information to guide EAB management,” said Jonathan Osthus, EAB Biocontrol Coordinator at the MDA.
The beetles are ground nesting wasps that don’t sting humans, and female wasps collect wood boring beetles, like the EAB, according to the MDA.
Cover Photo iStock | Cornelia Schaible