Using citizen science to combat Emerald Ash Borer

Smoky winged beetle bandit wasp | Photo from Wikipedia Commons
Smoky winged beetle bandit wasp | Photo from Wikipedia Commons

Have you heard about Wasp Watchers? There’s been some media buzz lately, with stories in the Star Tribune and Post Bulletin highlighting the program kicking off this summer.

Wasp Watchers uses the smoky winged beetle bandit wasp as an early detection tool for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Citizen scientists throughout Minnesota will be searching for and adopting wasp nesting sites in order to collect samples of their prey and monitor the spread of EAB. Quickly identifying infestations allows researchers to slow down their impact through quarantines and other control methods.

Check out these links to learn more about EAB, managing ash and EAB in your woods, and joining the Wasp Watchers program.

Emily Dombeck
Emily is the UMN Extension Forestry Program Coordinator.

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