The California Red Scale

The California Red Scale is not technically a major pest in eastern North American forests, but it is worth describing here for several reasons.  1) We have been battling it for a long time, and have failed to eradicate it, which is a lesson.  2) It is a representative of a ubiquitous group of pests […]

The Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis) is a non-native invasive boring beetle that was accidentally introduced to North America in the 1990s (it wasn’t discovered until 2002).  It causes 3.5 billion US in damages every year, so it is a fairly destructive pest. Instead of only threatening a single species (as the Chestnut blight […]

Toadflax biocontrol

Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) is one of two exotic toadflaxes that are invasive throughout the United States (the other is Dalmatian toadflax, Linaria dalmatica). There are 7 introduced biocontrol agents for the toadflaxes, including 5 beetles and 2 moths.  But I only want to show you one of them today, the toadflax flower-feeding beetle (Brachypterolus […]

Managing invasives with biocontrol agents

There are many, many non-native trouble-making species in this world.   They come in all shapes and sizes, but they share in common several features.  They are introduced (accidentally or deliberately) by humans, spread like wildfire, cause economic and/or environmental damage, and require money to manage.  A species that fills the above criteria is considered to […]