New ways to stop the emerald ash borer

Updated: 07/25/2014 5:42 PM
Created: 07/24/2014 4:14 PM WHEC.com
By: Josh Nichols

The emerald ash borer is no stranger to our area. Over the past few years, the invasive insect has made its way into trees around our area, killing them. Now, experts have a new way to stop them in their tracks. 

The emerald ash borer is a beetle that tunnels itself into the circulatory system of the ash tree, slowly killing it. Tree professionals are hard at work to combat this problem as nearly a quarter of all of Rochester’s trees are ash trees. 

Laurie Broccolo, Broccolo Tree & Landscape CEO, said, “Monroe County has benefited from a lot of the work done in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania went through and had to do a lot of research in losing a lot more trees so we benefit from their research and we know for sure that the injections work."

Injections of a special insecticide are drilled directly into the bark.

Steve Desmond, certified arborist, said, “The adult will lay their eggs inside it. She'll dig inside and lay her eggs inside the camping layer here and those eggs will hatch. Once they hatch, they'll get the poison and start feeding on the tree and it will kill them."

Pesticides may not be the only hope. A wasp, native to Asia, was just bred and introduced this spring to our area by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Desmond said, “It attacks the larvae of the ash borer and kills them before they hatch. They just started this spring, like I said, but we will really don't have the data available yet on how they're doing."

Now we know that some of the injections being used by tree experts into the bark of an ash tree are an effective treatment against the emerald ash borer, now the question is whether or not the introduction of these Asiatic wasps will be just as effective. 

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