Emerald Ash Borer Research Demonstration Project To Begin In London, Ontario
In an effort to minimize the number of ash trees killed by the emerald ash borer (EAB) in urban areas, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) in partnership with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the City of London, will undertake a research project in London beginning June 21, 2007. The purpose of this exercise is to evaluate tools to manage the insect in urban settings.
“Our Government supports the health of our urban landscapes through innovative projects such as pest control research,” said the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources. “Our scientists are using biotechnology to develop this environmentally friendly solution which will bring practical benefits for Canadian communities.”
“The emerald ash borer is one of the most devastating pests introduced into North America. In only a few years, this population has caused significant ash tree mortality in Southern Ontario,” said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board. “The CFIA remains fully committed to exploring all reasonable science-based means to prevent its spread and protecting Canada’s environment.”
Approximately 300 trees within the area under Notice of Quarantine in the City of London will be treated with an innovative new product called Neem in order to kill the emerald ash borer larvae that feed under the bark. The insecticide will be injected directly into the trunks of ash trees, thus there will be no direct exposure to humans or animals. Neem is a natural product extracted from the seeds of the Neem tree. Scientists with Natural Resources Canada have developed the particular formulation of Neem used for these injections and have collaborated with an industrial partner to develop the injection system.
It is hoped that this research will prove that Neem could be useful in managing the emerald ash borer in some situations. There is no expectation that it will affect significant control in large scale outbreaks, but it could prove effective in prolonging the life of high value trees in urban areas.
The emerald ash borer is native to Asia and currently only infests a relatively small part of Ontario. Efforts undertaken by the CFIA and its partners to slow its spread to other areas of Canada, where ash trees are common, are vital. This is being achieved through controlling the artificial movement of the emerald ash borer by regulating the movement of material that can transport the pest to new areas.
To deal with this pest effectively, the CFIA and its partners will continue to investigate the biology of the insect, develop methods for early detection and, on the basis of sound scientific information, develop an effective control program.
The CFIA is continuing to co-operate with federal, provincial and municipal partners and other government agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture, to develop strategies to control the emerald ash borer and prevent its spread to other areas of Canada.
Additional information on emerald ash borer is available on the CFIA web site at www.inspection.gc.ca.
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