INDIANA RELEASES STINGLESS WASPS TO FIGHT EMERALD ASH BORER
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has been working with Purdue University entomologists to release thousands of tiny stingless wasps throughout Indiana. The three different species of wasps, which are harmless to humans, attack the eggs and larva of the Emerald Ash Borer. This is the first biological control of Emerald Ash Borer to be attempted.
Emerald Ash Borer was first discovered in Indiana in 2004 and has spread rapidly through the state. Homeowners can protect individual Ash trees in their landscape with a variety of treatments. A homeowner can hire an arborist or tree service to do tree spraying, soil injections, or trunk injections to protect Ash trees from Emerald Borer. Do-it-yourself homeowners can purchase systemic soil drench products that have been shown to be effective on smaller Ash trees. Soil injects or trunk injections in combination with tree spraying is another tactic some tree services employ to provide an extra level of protections against Emerald Ash Borer.
Early reports indicate the effort is slowing the spread of the invasive insect, which has already infested up to 30 percent of the estimated 120 million Ash trees in Indiana. Although homeowners can protect Ash trees on their own properties with tree spraying, soil injections, or trunk injections it’s not economically feasible to treat Ash trees throughout the forested areas of Indiana. If the wasps do take hold, this is where they can do the most good for the remaining Ash trees throughout the state.