On September 5, 2007, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the detection of a single female Sirex noctilio woodwasp in Lamoille County, Vermont. This pest was collected on September 4, 2007, from a trap placed on private property as part of cooperative State and Federal S. noctilio survey efforts. This is the first detection of S. noctilio in the New England region of the United States.
Cooperative State and Federal S. noctilio survey activities will continue throughout early and mid fall of 2007, as will trap tree survey activities being conducted by the U.S. Forest Service. The survey area within Vermont is part of a multi-State detection survey for S. noctilio that is ongoing in high-risk areas throughout the United States.
Sirex noctilio is an exotic species of wood-boring wasp capable of causing significant mortality in healthy species of pine trees. To date, S. noctilio has been positively confirmed in 28 counties in New York, 5 counties in Pennsylvania, 1 county in Michigan, and most recently 1 county in Vermont. APHIS is currently considering its regulatory options to address S. noctilio.
APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine is working with the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and unaffected States with significant pine tree resources to prevent the further spread of this harmful forest pest. To this end, APHIS’ Center for Plant Health Science and Technology plans to conduct a second pilot study of a promising biological control agent against S. noctilio using the nematode, Beddingia siricidicola, in the fall of 2007.
Under IPPC standards, Sirex noctilio is considered to be a pest that is present (localized in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont) and subject to official control in the United States.