For over a decade spruce trees in Colorado have been dying to a small killer. That killer, the spruce beetle, is part of an entire subspecies of beetle that’s name literally means tree killer. These beetles, which spread through over 20 states and some of Canada have been silently killing trees and then having forest wildfires cover it up for years, and the result is a reduced population of actual living spruce trees in the world to a level where they could be extinct if it wasn’t for farms devoted to keeping spruce trees alive.
Recently an idea has surfaced on the use of a particular kind of wasp from China that could actually assist in saving spruce trees from these beetles. This wasp is of the parasitic variety which when hatched they seek out and ‘sting’ a beetle and fill that beetle with eggs, which will then hatch and devour the beetle as their initial food source until they can fly. The best part is, these wasps don’t actually have stingers either, which means they are some of the least harmful creatures to humans.
This means we could have a way of eliminating the problem to our spruce trees by introducing a species that is not native to the area. And they’ve actually already tried this in a few other areas to eliminate beetles that were killing Ash trees. This is why the plan may also work for spruce trees, although currently they are unsure if the wasps will attack and sting the beetles killing spruce trees since spruce isn’t native to China.
Maybe this kind of idea though could result in discovering some creature that does take care of these beetles, after all there has to be something out there that controls the population of a creature that kills off trees, right?