Be Very, Very Quiet, I’m Hunting…

…elm bark beetles. Observed at the corner of Exeter Street and Commonwealth Ave.:

Elm bark beetle

According to the Boston Parks Department:

The traps consist of 18.5″x 28″ green plywood boxes mounted approximately 15 feet off the ground on trees located at least 150 feet away from any elms. Six have been placed on Boston Common, five in the Public Garden, five in the Fenway Victory Garden, five on side streets along Commonwealth Avenue Mall, two along the Muddy River, and one in Copley Square. This doubles last year’s placement of a dozen traps.

Each trap contains a paper lining with a sticky surface that acts like old-fashioned flypaper. The paper is infused with a pheromone lure to attract the insects. The traps contain no pesticides or harmful chemicals. The devices will remain in place until early October.

The traps are designed to monitor elm bark beetles which cause damage when the larvae build “galleries” beneath the bark. Adults pose an additional threat when they travel from sick to healthy trees carrying Dutch elm disease spores with them.

Using elm bark beetle traps and monitoring them closely provides important data for scientists fighting the transmission of Dutch elm disease. With this field research, they are able to identify the species of elm bark beetle attacking the elm trees, better understand their life cycle including emergence and breeding patterns, keep track of the existing population, and disrupt their normal breeding behavior. Having this current and comprehensive information allows arborists to form a more effective Dutch elm disease program and optimize future pest control procedures.

Hopefully, this will work.

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