Finding a Pest Predator

Hemlock – Pest Predator

Salom: In certain areas, almost all the hemlocks have been taken out. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park has lost millions of trees.

Eastern hemlock trees have fallen prey to an invasive species of insect from Japan called the Wooly Adelgid, and scientists are attempting to control it with its natural predator also from Japan. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Salom: We’re in an area that has a group of hemlock trees that have supported a population of hemlock woolly adelgid and we have released beetles on, for the attempt of biological control.

Scott Salom is a Professor of Forest Entomology at Virginia Tech.

Salom: What our lab is focused on is trying to bring in a natural enemy or more than one species, that are associated with this insect in its native habitat, and sort of bring them together have a reunion between the insect and its natural enemy in this new environment. By doing that, we hope that it can help keep the populations of this adelgid pest below a level that would be injurious to the trees.
These beetles spend the winter feeding on the adelgid. The adelgid is active during the winter. From the fall through the spring and early summer, the adelgid is feeding on the tree. These predators will wake up at the same time that the adelgid does and will be actively feeding on the adelgids from the fall all the way through the spring.
Permission to release Laricobius osakensis beetles occurred in 2010, and in 2012, the first releases took place, and we are at the site right now where the first release took place.

Scientists hope that a limited use of insecticides on some trees and the predator beetle release on others seems will keep the wooly adelgid in. We’ll hear more in future programs. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Finding a Pest Predator

When an invasive insect from Japan began wiping out eastern hemlock trees, scientists found the pests' natural predator in Japan.
Air Date:08/18/2017
Scientist:
Transcript:


Hemlock - Pest Predator

Salom: In certain areas, almost all the hemlocks have been taken out. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park has lost millions of trees.

Eastern hemlock trees have fallen prey to an invasive species of insect from Japan called the Wooly Adelgid, and scientists are attempting to control it with its natural predator also from Japan. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Salom: We're in an area that has a group of hemlock trees that have supported a population of hemlock woolly adelgid and we have released beetles on, for the attempt of biological control.

Scott Salom is a Professor of Forest Entomology at Virginia Tech.

Salom: What our lab is focused on is trying to bring in a natural enemy or more than one species, that are associated with this insect in its native habitat, and sort of bring them together have a reunion between the insect and its natural enemy in this new environment. By doing that, we hope that it can help keep the populations of this adelgid pest below a level that would be injurious to the trees.
These beetles spend the winter feeding on the adelgid. The adelgid is active during the winter. From the fall through the spring and early summer, the adelgid is feeding on the tree. These predators will wake up at the same time that the adelgid does and will be actively feeding on the adelgids from the fall all the way through the spring.
Permission to release Laricobius osakensis beetles occurred in 2010, and in 2012, the first releases took place, and we are at the site right now where the first release took place.

Scientists hope that a limited use of insecticides on some trees and the predator beetle release on others seems will keep the wooly adelgid in. We'll hear more in future programs. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.