Biological Control of the Emerald Ash Borer

Biological Control of the Emerald Ash Borer

This little wasp might slow the spread of the emerald ash borer (EAB) in Colorado. Last year the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the City of Boulder and the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service released a stingless wasp to target the emerald ash borer (EAB) in Boulder. The name of the wasp is the Tetrastichus planipennisi. They are native to North Asia. The wasp is a natural predator of the EAB. The wasp lays eggs on the EAB larvae in the fall. The eggs hatch and feed on the EAB host till death. What is remarkable is that wasp produces four generations each year. They can lay up to 100 eggs into one host. This makes Tetrastichus planipennisi a ferocious predator of the emerald ash borer. The wasps have been tested in 18 of the 24 effected states in the U.S. Another parasitoid wasp Oobius agrili might be tried this summer in Boulder.

There are native wasp species that attack the EAB, but their effectiveness is limited. Since the Tetrastichus planipennisi and the Oobius agrili are difficult to grow, biocontrol wasps are only available to state and city EAB control programs.

For more information about biocontrol of the EAB, click here.

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