In the very near future Natural Resources Canada will be conducting a 6-week field trial testing the fungus (Beauveria bassiana) for control of the EAB in the woods between Deer Park Trails and the Oromocto River. Jon Sweeney, a research scientist involved in the experiment, has provided the following information for members of Oromocto First Nation:
In the possible event that a member of Oromocto First Nation encounters a member of our staff at the field site, I want to assure you that, in order to perform field work, our staff must be free of symptoms of COVID-19 and must observe strict hygiene and social distancing to reduce any risk of COVID-19 exposure to members of the public.
The fungus occurs naturally in the soil is not harmful to people, mammals and birds but can it infect insects other than the emerald ash borer. To decrease exposure of non-target insects to the fungus, we grow the fungus on barley inside a small screen pouch which is placed in a chamber on the bottom of a funnel trap designed to catch EAB. These traps are bright green and are suspended from rope high in the canopy of ash trees. The EAB are attracted to the green trap, get a dose of fungus, and then escape the trap to infect other EAB through contact when mating. We use sticky prism traps of the same bright green colour to capture a sample of EAB and determine the percentage infected with the fungus. The site would be visited once per week for six weeks and then the traps will be removed. There would be 3 or 4 people present during the set up (half day) and 2 people checking traps weekly.
Oromocto First Nation
4 Hiawatha Ave.
P.O BOX 417
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