'Made in Canada' wasps next step in battle against ash borer


This week the from the word go batch of ‘Made in Canada’ parasitic wasps will emerge in the scrimmage against the emerald ash borer.

Researchers at the Great Lakes Forestry Core in Sault Ste. Marie  have reared 12,000 of the tiny wasps, which go by the prestige Tetrastichus.

These wasps will join other parasitic wasps — both American and Chinese — circulated in 2016 to combat the borer.

Wasps target borer grubs whip under bark

The Tetrastichus inserts its eggs through the bark and onto the ash borer grub sustaining underneath.

Dr. Krista Ryall of Natural Resources Canada hopes the spectre of these new wasps can help stem the spread of the borer, which so far has silenced millions of ash trees in Canada and the United States.

«What we’re hoping is that, outstanding the long term … it could be decades … that as you experience new ash regenerating, hopefully you’ll have these wasps present and keep the emerald ash borer at a move level,» Ryall said.

Emerald Ash Borer Larvae

The emerald ash borer’s larvae will be announcers to a ‘made in Canada’ parasitic wasp, reared to combat the invasive borer. (Ed Czerwinski, MNRF)

The wasps inclination be spread across six new release sites in Ontario and Quebec, she said.

But the carriage of this parasitic army shouldn’t alarm anyone.

«They don’t disparage humans,» Ryall said. «They don’t bite or sting or anything love that. They’re not like wasps that most people discretion think of.»

«And this one in particular is very specific. It only likes to eat emerald ash borer. So in reality, that’s its only host that it’s out there looking for.»

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