Additional Emerald Ash Borer Parasite Releases

Parasites of the emerald ash borer (EAB) that may help slow the spread of the ash-tree-killing pest have been released earlier this summer in Jefferson and Allamakee Counties as part of a nationwide effort to reduce the threat of this invasive pest.

 

Additional releases of biocontrol agents have occurred through the summer at Whitham Woods near Fairfield and at Mount Hosmer City Park in Lansing.  There has been a total of 10 releases at the Fairfield location. The final release of the season is planned for early October in Lansing.  Both the Fairfield and Lansing sites will continue to receive biocontrol releases in 2017, and there are plans for additional release sites next year.

 

The latest releases in Fairfield included a different species of parasitoid not previously released in the state. Spathius galinae is relatively new on the EAB biocontrol scene (2014) and also uses EAB larvae as its host. Hopefully they will take a liking to Iowa and go to work!

 
Spathius galinae wasps are more cold tolerate for northern areas like Iowa versus the closely-related Spathius agrili.  USDA-APHIS has stopped releasing Spathius agrili in areas above the 40th parallel (northern Missouri) because of failure to establish.

 

The Spathius galinae adult wasps recently released are much larger than the Tetrastichus planipennisi released throughout the summer.  They are similar in size to a mosquito.  See the photo below. A total of 629 of the parasites, mostly females, were shipped in plastic cups as seen in the photo for release in Jefferson County.

 

Read more about biological control of the emerald ash borer on the USDA website.



Cup full of emerald ash borer parasitoids, IDALS, Entomology & Plant Science Bureau
Emerald ash borer parasitioid, Spathius galinae, is larger than most parasitic wasps released for control of EAB.

Category: 
Authors: 

Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on October 3, 2016. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.