WSCC and MSU Cooperate in Pest Monitoring Program

June 27, 2013

VICTORY TWP. — During the past 20 years, Michigan forests have seen the devastating results of invasive insect pests which have resulted in the near elimination of beech trees and a growing threat to the state’s ash trees.
Michigan forests are in an exceptional risk due to invasive forests pests. The risk is enhanced due to the very fact that Michigan has extensive forest resources that include high risk pathways for exotic pest invasion.
As a highly developed manufacturing center, many products are shipped into the state from around the globe. In many cases, the incoming products are transported on wooden pallets which harbor a wide variety of wood-boring beetles and other pests. Michigan also has the fifth largest nursery industry in the U.S.

The transport of live plant materials and the constant movement of recreationally motivated people further enhance the movement of potentially destructive pests. State owned campgrounds attract 22 million visitors annually and at least six million of these visitors are from other states. Burrowing insects and their immature larval stages has an economic impact and likely costs close to $3 billion per year.
The early detection of potentially damaging exotic forest pests can greatly facilitate efforts to eradicate or contain a growing population of pests.
Michigan forests, the economy they support, the recreation they provide, and the all-important aesthetic benefit they make possible cannot and must not be left to care for themselves.
Scientists from Michigan State University (MSU) and the USDA Forest Service, along with specialists from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) are working together to detect and monitor exotic forest pests in the state.
At this time, professionals from these agencies are taking every possible step to survey sites that may be at relatively high risk of forest pest introduction. A variety of traps baited with artificial lures designed to attract and capture the Asian long-horned beetle, walnut twig beetle and over 20 other damaging pests are being deployed throughout the state including the Upper Peninsula. This array of traps will be checked every two to three weeks to collect, screen, identify, and assess their potential for the infection and destruction of Michigan forests.
The threat to beech and ash trees has been mentioned, but there is a more alarming threat waiting at the door step.
The Asian long horned beetle (Anoplophora globripennis) has been positively identified in the vicinity of Chicago, Cincinnati, Massachusetts, and New York. What is at risk? Maple trees are the Asian long-horned beetle’s (ALB) favorite host. Michigan grows and is home to more than one billon maple trees. It is widely agreed that Michigan maple is the best in the world.

This past week, nearly 20 funnel and panel traps were set and baited on the West Shore Community College campus. Campus officials have enthusiastically voiced support and opened the extensive campus forests to the agencies involved in the pest monitoring research effort. There will eventually be 35 other sites established across the state.

It is pertinent to note the site selection and trap installation was done by Dr. Sara Tanis, a WSCC graduate who has received a post-doctoral fellowship from the five Michigan State University Departments of Forestry and Entomology. Sara was assisted by Molly Robinett, an MSU graduate assistant.
It is imperative that all Michigan citizens support, understand, and appreciate the importance of research efforts aimed at preserving the state unique forests.

The beech trees are lost. Ash trees are in danger. Maple trees must not be the third to go!

If you have questions regarding this research effort, contact:

Sara R. Tanis
Post-doctoral Research Associate
Dept. of Entomology
Michigan State University
517-420-4732
[email protected]

Deborah G. McCullough
Professor
Depts. of Entomology & Forestry
Michigan State University
517-355-7445
[email protected]

Therese M. Poland
Entomologist
Northern Research Station
USDA Forest Service.
517-355-7740
[email protected]

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