Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) discovered in Ontario
The hemlock woolly adelgid has been found in Fort Erie. If you are in this area, do not move hemlock or any type of firewood to prevent further spread.
What is HWA?
HHWA is similar to aphids in that they suck fluid from their hosts. They feed on cells storing nutrients and water at the base of hemlock needles, causing the needles to die. There are two forms of the insect, each of which lay up to 300 eggs each year. This can result in exponential population growth due to the absence of natural enemies.
Why is it a problem?
In the States, HWA has caused widespread death and decline of hemlock trees, which in turn negatively impacts the types of animals, plants, and other organisms living in the ecosystem. Eastern hemlock in the southern Appalachian Mountains may be virtually eliminated in the coming years.
What can I do?
Fall through winter are when these insects are most active. Start checking your hemlock trees, flipping the branches over to get a good look at the undersides as well. This is a good habit to get into, especially if you live in the South close to the US border.
If you’ve seen hemlock woolly adelgid or another invasive species in the wild, please contact the toll-free Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711, visit EDDMapS Ontario, or search for the ‘Invasive Species in Ontario’ project on iNaturalist.org to report a sighting.
For more information and photos, click here.
For the CFIA news release on the discovery, click here.
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