Alyokhin quoted in Lancaster Farming article on Maine Invasive Species Network meeting

Lancaster Farming reported on the recent annual meeting of the Maine Invasive Species Network. Andrei Alyokhin, a professor of applied entomology at the University of Maine, spoke about established invasive species and newly introduced invasive insect species during a presentation on the impact of invasive species on Maine’s economy, according to the article. “Of those, spotted wing drosophila is a well-established pest now that causes a lot of damage to small-fruit industry,” Alyokhin said. “Necrotic strains of potato virus Y are also well established, but overall incidence of this disease went down since 2012 because of control efforts by growers. Brown marmorated stink bug has become established in southern Maine, but does not seem to cause much of a trouble at this point. Potato wart never got out of a few fields on Prince Edward Island due to rigorous quarantine. New species of concern that were not present in 2015 are the spotted lanternfly and leek moth.” Alyokhin said researchers have identified several species of parasitoid wasps that predate spotted wing drosophila and the brown marmorated stink bug. “The biggest danger (of introducing biocontrol agents) is that they will attack nontarget organisms,” Alyokhin said. “This is why their host or prey range is being thoroughly tested before release.”