Predatory beetles deployed around Lake George to keep invasive insect in check

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LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid showed up around Paradise Bay on Lake George over the summer.

Last month, it was joined by another insect. But that one wasn’t another invasive; it’s a predatory beetle deployed to pray on the adelgid.

Mark Whitmore and the New York State Hemlock Initiative deployed 620 Laricobius beetles, native to Washington state, into parts of the lake and the Adirondack Park where the adelgid has been found. They prey on the invasives, and will themselves die out once there are no more Woolly Adelgid around. Next spring, they’ll be joined by Silver Flies, another insect which preys on the hemlock woolly adelgid in tandem with the beetles.

The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid preys on the twigs of hemlock branches, which can cause trees to die off. Hemlock trees make up around 10 percent of all trees in the Adirondack Park.

Earlier this year, Adirondack protection groups announced a new plan to track invasive insect activity by satellite.

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