Wasps Enter Ash Borer Battle

6/10/11 – Wisconsin’s latest battle against the emerald ash borer is underway. Scientists from U-W Madison released about 800 parasitic wasps yesterday in a forest near Saukville where the tree-killing ash borer has made its mark. The wasps do not sting – but they love feasting on the larvae of the ash borer, and that ruins the bug’s eggs. Two species of the Asian wasps have been released, and a third will go out later this summer. A federal breeding facility in Madison sent the special wasps to the U-W on Tuesday. Wisconsin is the 10th state to try to wasp treatment over the last four years. Nationally, about 165-thousand wasps are being released – about the same as a year ago. Chemical treatments have also been found to be effective against the emerald ash borer, but officials say they’re too expensive – and they’re not designed to protect entire forests. The green borer has killed millions of ash trees in recent years from Missouri to Quebec. It was first confirmed in Wisconsin in 2008. The ash borer has been spotted in neighboring Washington County but Beaver Dam Parks and Forestry Supervisor John Neuman says there has been no indication that the insect has been found here.