Red imported fire ants were detected during a routine check at a Sussex County business by the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industries nursery inspection team. A Hold and Control Order was promptly issued, and a treatment program to eliminate the fire ants is underway. “Buyers of tropical nursery stock – such as palm trees – should carefully inspect their plants for small, aggressive red stinging ants,” said Stephen Hauss, Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator for the Department of Agriculture. “We need these to be reported quickly and promptly to keep them from spreading or staying in Delaware over the winter.”
To protect our State, we are asking Delawareans to join us in the battle against invasive plant pest and diseases. If you suspect an invasive pest or disease, contact our Plant Industries section at (302) 698-4500. Get acquainted with the hungry pests that would like to dine in Delaware by visiting www.hungrypests.com. This April—Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month—we urge you to help stop the spread of these harmful pests.
State officials hope a new addition at the Blackbird Forest Education Center in Townsend will become a “hive of activity” as its occupants get “busy as bees” teaching visitors about the natural environment, the valuable role bees play in crop pollination and honey production, and how forests and flowering tree species can contribute to bee health and well-being.
“Trees for Bees” is the theme of the 10th “National Pollinator Week” (June 20-26, 2016). The 2016 theme highlights the many natural benefits that flowering native tree species such as tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), black willow (Salix nigra), northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), and maples (Acer spp.) can offer to foraging bees.
With the arrival of summer, the Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) Forest Service and Plant Industries sections would like to alert homeowners, campers, and tree care professionals to look for signs or symptoms of emerald ash borer, otherwise known as EAB, a destructive wood-boring pest of ash trees. At the same time, DDA is beginning its own annual surveillance to look for EAB in the First State. EAB has been found in 25 states, including those in the Mid-Atlantic nearest to Delaware (Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia). The nearest known location of EAB to Delaware is in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia.