The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) this week confirmed that the emerald ash borer beetle has moved into Kawartha Lakes, Ontario. The discovery raises the number of Ontario counties the beetle has been found into 32, alongside seven in Quebec.
The emerald ash borer is a green beetle species that originated in Asia, but has spread throughout many parts of North America. Outside of Asia and Russia, the beetle can devastate populations of ash trees, wreaking environmental havoc on forests.
The CFIA has extended prohibitions on moving materials such as logs, branches, wood chips, and firewood from the sites where the beetle was found. The agency has also announced that currently regulated areas in Ontario and Quebec will be consolidated into one large area starting in April 2014.
In addition to recruiting the public to help prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer, the CFIA will consider further regulation after the completion of survey work this year. The agency has already approved the release of two stingless wasp species as “biological control agents” to combat the beetle. One species of wasp parasitic to ash borer larvae, Tetrastichus planipennisi, has already been released in southwestern Ontario.