Monday, February 9, 2009

Releasing of the 'Laricobius nigrinus' beetles

Today we released the 'Laricobius nigrinus' beetles to help battle the woolly adelgid that is killing our Eastern Hemlocks. Tom McAvoy and Ryan Mays from the VT Entomology Department work year-round with Mountain Lake to monitor and treat our hemlocks.

An untreated hemlock affected by the woolly adelgid.

Tom explaining the life cycles of the beetle.

Ryan placing the beetles on the hemlock tree. The beetles are a natural predator of the Woolly Adelgid and are native to the Pacific Northwest. The beetles will feed on the HWA eggs in the spring, then spend their summer in the soil. Then they will begin to pupate and their offspring will become active in the following fall.
Jar of beetles - Hundreds of releases of this species have been made from Maine to Georgia to help control the HWA.

The lab takes care of more than 40,000 beetles! The beetles live on these hemlock branches that are covered with HWA and are kept in the lab until they are released. Today we used paint brushes to gently place the beetles from their branch to the hemlock branches at Mountain Lake.

Click here to learn more about the beetle's life cycles