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Eyeing natural enemies to suppress invasive pests


Narrator:       This is Science Today. It's estimated that invasive species cost the state of California approximately $3 billion per year. Mark Hoddle, director of the Center for Invasive Species Research at the University of California, Riverside, says pests are not just affecting the agricultural industry, they're taking a toll on the well-being of the state's wilderness areas — and even spreading to urban settings. Such is the case with the goldspotted oak borer beetle.

Hoddle:          People are moving firewood infested with beetles.  This allows the beetle to move very quickly, 50, 60 miles, maybe 100 miles when people have a pickup truck load and we get about 10 of these new species establishing in California each year. We're interested in looking for natural enemies to suppress the uncontrolled populations of this pest in Southern California. And that's what I specialize in. We can't spray these massive forests with pesticides to kill all these beetles. 

Narrator:       Hoddle says dealing with this is crucial because with tourism and trade, every person in California will be affected in some way by exotic organisms. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.