How Do You Kill an Invasive Species? Bring in a Bigger, Meaner Species to Eat It

An insect that makes its home on eastern hemlocks in Nova Scotia has the power to wipe out the tree species if left unchecked. Scientists are looking to a strategy called biological control — a historically controversial approach — that would introduce a new predatory species to kill the insect. After rigorous lab testing showed a small black beetle only attacked their targets and didn’t disrupt other ecosystems, they released them in 2003 at an orchard on Vancouver Island. Results show they have been somewhat effective, but it’s unclear if it will completely solve the problem.

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