Pest management pilot projects
Invasive plants and insects can have damaging impacts on our local environment, damaging wildlife habitat and reducing the quality of our parks.
The City of Calgary is piloting different approaches to controlling invasive pest populations without compromising the health of our ecosystems, through our Integrated Pest Management approach.
2019 European Elm Scale trial program - summary
This is the third year running our trial program for European elm Scale (EES), a pest that attacks elm trees. The injection program treats selected, highly infested elm trees. We are continuing with both trial sites – Valley Ridge and McKenzie Towne. Six different treatments and one control group are used at each site. There are 70 trees per site, with 10 trees per treatment. We collect samples from the trees every two weeks throughout the summer. We also collected soil samples from trees at both sites to determine site differences.
Chemical (TreeAzin injections) and cultural treatments are used for these trials. Cultural treatments are techniques to increase the overall health of the tree and include combinations of compost tea (CT), Soil Food Web (SFW) and water. Trees within the TreeAzin treatment groups were injected in 2017, and injections were not repeated in 2018 or 2019, as per the manufacturer’s recommendation.
We use double-sided tape traps on all the trees to evaluate EES nymph numbers. This year we are using volunteers to collect our tape traps at the Valley Ridge site. Urban Forestry staff are responsible for the tape trap collections in McKenzie Towne.
In the fall we will count all the collected samples, and run data analysis for our sample collections.
2019 Emerald Ash Borer monitoring program
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive insect from Eastern Asia, which was first discovered in Canada in 2002. Since then it has moved east across Canada, destroying Ash populations in many cities. In 2018 EAB was identified in Winnipeg and it is estimated the beetles had been present for several years before being detected. In 2019 the City of Calgary expanded its monitoring program to 24 traps, placed in ash trees across the city. In previous years we had installed 4 traps in conjunction with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Pilot Study (Short Term) – The Role of Mosquitoes in Pollination (2023)
Mosquitoes are well known for being everyday nuisances and even vectors of disease, but they also have an important role in our ecosystems as pollinators. This year (2023), we are investigating the role that mosquitoes play in pollination of some of our native vegetation and weeds. We are monitoring two plants known to be pollinated by mosquitoes; Canadian goldenrod, a native flower; and common tansy, a noxious weed.