Officials prep for release of wasps to battle ash borerby Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — State officials this week will release stingless wasps in several Twin Cities neighborhoods to try to control the spread of emerald ash borers that kill ash trees.
Monika Chandler, a biological control coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, said the wasps attack and kill emerald borers.
Chandler said the first release site is in St. Paul's South St. Anthony Park neighborhood. She said they'll also try some experiments on a few trees to see how quickly the wasps control the borers.
"We girdled some trees in the area where we're going to release the biological control agents so that we can lure emerald ash borer to those and then release the biological control agent," Chandler said.
Chandler said the stingless wasps won't become a threat of their own.
"Before there's any approval for release there is a multi-year testing process to ensure that these species will not have any negative impact on other species, the environment," Chandler said.
Borers native to Asia have killed millions of ash trees in this country and were detected recently in Minnesota. The borer-killing wasps will be introduced in other St. Paul and Minneapolis neighborhoods later this summer.
South St. Anthony Park residents can attend an open house Monday close to the release site where experts will explain the program.