Wasp Watch for Emerald Ash Borer!

Check out this comic to see how a bug hero helps Aponi detect the dreaded emerald ash borer!

  • Title: Wasp Watch

  • Aponi was indulging her cousins in a softball game during a summer-time family reunion picnic at a neighborhood park in Harrisburg, IL.

  • While bored to death (no one hitting well that day!), she noticed a patch of small dirt mounds in center field.

  • After the game, she went back to inspect more closely, realized that these were ground nests and eventually saw a small wasp entering the burrow.

  • She took a picture of the bug and looked it up in her Field Guide to Flying Insects of the Midwest when she got home.

  • She learned that this was the famed sphecid wasp, Cerceris fumipennis, known for hunting Emerald Ash Borer.

  • Aponi shared this finding with her county extension agent, who explained that using the wasp to track EAB was known as biosurveillance and put her in touch with her state's pest survey coordinator.

  • This biosurveillance technique helped local officials find and remove a stand of infested ash trees (the first in this part of the state)!

  • They even prevented EAB from spreading into nearby Shawnee National Forest!

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