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The mission of the Wasp Watchers Program is to engage citizen scientists for Emerald Ash Borer biosurveillance as a tool for early detection of this invasive beetle in Minnesota’s ash trees.
The Wasp Watchers Program through the University of Minnesota Extension engages citizen scientist volunteers to help with the early detection of emerald ash borer infestations using a biosurveillance tool. The Smoky winged beetle bandit wasp, Cerceris fumipennis, is a harmless native wasp that specializes in hunting metallic wood boring beetles including Emerald Ash Borer. These wasps are not known to sting people, even when handled. Female wasps forage for beetle prey in trees and bring them back to ground nests as food for their offspring. Volunteers monitor the nests of non-stinging, ground nesting wasps and capture their beetle prey. Captured beetles are sent to the University of Minnesota Entomology Department for identification. If EAB is in your area, these wasps will find it for us!