Canadian Forest Service Publications

Scientific note: update on the establishment of birch leafminer parasitoids in western Canada. 2013. MacQuarrie, C.; Langor, D.W. Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 110:35-59.

Year: 2013

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 34932

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Plain Language Summary

A stingless wasp was introduced to control a tree pest. Birch leafminers are insects that eat the leaves of birch trees. In the past they have caused damage in cities and towns throughout Canada. The leafminer can be controlled by a wasp that uses the leaf miner as a host for its eggs. These wasps are stingless, and harmless to humans. Occasionally, the leaf miner ‘escapes’ from the wasp, when this happens the leaf miner populations can become large and we must introduce the wasp to control the leafminer. Between 2003 and 2007 we relocated wasps from Alberta and the Northwest Territories to Prince George, BC and Yellowknife, NWT in an effort to control large populations of the leafminer in both cities. In this survey we found that the wasp was still present after five years. If the wasp is successful in controlling the leafminer it will protect urban trees and reduce the need for other controls (e.g., chemicals). NRCan, through its predecessors, has long used parasites and predators to control forest pests. This project builds on work dating back to the 1960s, and supports our current goal to reduce the risk to forests posed by pests.