Thursday, October 1, 2015

Inexpensive 3D Trap Aids in the Detection of PSHB

There is finally some good news coming out of efforts to control the Polyhphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB). With over 200 common landscape and native trees being attacked by this pest, and over 36 host trees it can breed in, the term 'apocalyptic' is hardly an exagerated one for this pest. Up until the last 6 months things were looking kind of grim, with only regular trunk spraying of contact insecticides being an effective control. Because of the huge list of hosts and trees under attack and non-hetrogenous nature of the ornamental trees (good scientific experiments require multiple samples of uniform subjects, something hard to find with the mature trees the beetle attacks), progress in controlling the beetle has been slow. However the use of 3D printing has allowed custom traps specific for this beetle to manufactured en mass for deployment in the field. These custom traps will allow researchers to better determine the effectiveness of prospective treatments in the field. Also, at least one parasite specific for PSHB may have been discovered in Taiwan. Stay tuned!

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