fighting the emerald ash borer
Photo by Kate Porter/CBC

Quebec fights the emerald ash borer with new pilot project

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Angell Woods is an old-growth forest in Beaconsfield, Quebec. And just like many areas in Canada, it’s under attack by the emerald ash borer.

It’s the larvae of this pest that causes the most damage; they burrow through the inner bark while the young beetles feast on the leaves, effectively killing the ash tree. They are extremely difficult to detect early, and since their arrival in Canada in 2002, they’ve killed tens of millions of ash trees.

In Beaconsfield, a new three-year project will act to protect against this invasive species. With a budget of $12,000 per year, the project will implement a series of traps to kill off the pest. Placed inside the ash trees, the Lindgren funnel traps contain a fungus that emits a scent to attract the emerald ash borer, and once inside the trap, they become poisoned by the fungus. Once infected, the spores from the fungus will be spread to other beetles during mating, and after five days, the beetles will die.

“It’s a different approach to fighting the emerald ash borer,” Mayor Georges Bourelle told CBC. “It is very important that we try and protect our ash trees and keep as many as we can.”

The strategy of the project is to focus on Angell Woods. According to Bourelle, it is the hope that targeting a dense wooded area will create a stronger impact on the devastating species.