Chemical treatments are simply not sustainable.
Until now, conventional methods of controlling the spread of HWA have included physically removing infested trees, planting HWA resistant Hemlock species, establishing state-wide quarantines, and applying chemical pesticides. Each of these methods has not prevented the spread of HWA.
HWA continues its invasion.
Pesticides Are Not Enough
Pesticides kill HWA in the short-term, but they’re not sustainable. Typical methods of pesticide application include foliar sprays, root injections, and trunk/stem injections. Sprays using horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps can be effective when infested trees can be saturated enough to ensure that the insecticide comes in contact with HWA. But this method has proven to be limited when it comes to treating entire forests where large numbers of Hemlock are infested.
Pesticide injections are also limited. They rely on the tree’s ability to uptake enough water and nutrients from the soil to disperse the chemical evenly throughout the limbs of the tree, needles and into the feeding organism (the HWA). The 3 primary problems with pesticide injections are:
- Sick trees cannot evenly distribute the chemical 100%. Unsuccessfully treated sections leave HWA to continue infesting other trees.
- Pesticides have a residual of 1-3 years. Trees need annual or bi-annual treatment to prevent re-infestation. This means expensive applications year after year.
- Pesticides are POISONS. Imidacloprid, the most widely used chemical to treat HWA is 100% volatile to bees and aquatic life, and toxic to mammals.
Poisons of any kind should never be accepted as a long-term solution.
Biological Control is the Answer
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