The United States contains enough invasive species to keep pest control professionals busy for several lifetimes. Considering how global trade has exploded during the past couple of centuries, it is no wonder why so many invasive insects are currently damaging North American ecosystems. In America, basically every type of insect family that you can think of has an invasive species in its ranks. For example, America has invasive bees, invasive termites, invasive wasps, invasive flies, and that is only naming a few. Lately, the Asian longhorned beetle and the emerald ash borer are the two invasive insect species that are causing the greatest degree of concern among experts. However, an emerging invasive insect species is giving these two destructive insects a run for their money. This species is known as the Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) and it is destroying record amounts of forest land in the United States.
Recently the Ohio Division of Forestry in the Shawnee State Forest in Adams County conducted survey work that revealed the presence of the HWA. According to Brett Gates, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the HWA’s are now restricted to one twelve acre portion of the Shawnee State Forest. These insects use their sucking mouthparts to feed on hemlock trees, eventually resulting in their destruction. The rate at which these invasive insects destroy trees varies, which makes the potential damages that they may inflict in the future difficult to predict. Luckily, there are insecticide treatments that can be successfully used against HWAs. Several infected trees within the Shawnee State Forest have been treated, and now officials are hoping that they will survive in spite of the damage that they have sustained. As a result of the HWA presence in Ohio forests, several counties in Ohio have put hemlock species of timber under quarantine in order to contain the spread of this devastating invasive insect.
Do you think that the Hemlock woolly adelgid species will become more abundant in American forests in the future?
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