If you were reading Village14 last summer, you may recall I was looking for a Cerceris fumipennis wasp colony in Newton for Wasp Watchers. This is a biosurveillance project for early detection of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle, which has recently reached New England, and quickly kills ash trees.
It’s the beginning of a new season, the wasps have emerged, and I’d still like to find a colony in Newton. So just to give you an incentive to keep your eyes open, if you are the first person to find a colony in Newton, OR the first to find one in my orbit of villages along the Mass Pike (Auburndale, West Newton, Newtonville, or Newton Corner) I will take you out to dinner at, let’s say Dunn Gaherin’s on the south side, or Tommy Doyle’s on the north side (or Chinese anywhere in Newton). For what to look for, read last August’s post.
Since last summer, when Cerceris nest monitoring detected EAB in Connecticut, in September EAB was detected in Dalton, MA (Berkshire County), where one was caught in a purple trap, another detection method. And this March, a report of unusual woodpecker activity on an ash tree in Concord, N.H. led to its discovery there, and infested trees have been found in many parts of that city.
The leaps over counties with no known infestations mean it probably arrived by people moving infested firewood, which could happen anywhere, so it’s worth keeping an eye on ash trees, too, for small D-shaped exit holes in the bark of ash trees. Ash trees have compound leaves like this picture, and opposite branching (like maples), not alternate branching.
And it’s not too late to be a Wasp Watcher yourself. You can email [email protected] if you’re interested. She will probably do a training in Carlisle later this week.