The USDA Forest Service Quarantine Facility in Ansonia, Connecticut, is utilized to confine arthropod pests and their biological control agents for biological control research. It is certified by the state of Connecticut and the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service on a permit-by-permit basis.
The area under quarantine is 3100 square feet and is entered through a double air lock system equipped with light traps. Provision is made for personnel to change into outer garments, and shoes or shoe covers that are worn only inside the facility. The internal and make-up air of the three negative pressure zones is passed through independent HEPA filters and air conditioning systems and is exhausted through 100-mesh screening. An automatic generator maintains the negative pressure system and several environmental chambers during power failure. Environmentally controlled chambers, with the capacity to program temperature, humidity and day-length, provide space for rearing large numbers of arthropods.
All insect handling involving the opening of containers is performed inside biological safety cabinets to contain the insects and protect workers' health. A pass-through autoclave ensures that all trash is disposed of safely. In addition to normal security measures, the negative air pressure system, environmental chambers, and city power are monitored by a professional company, which alerts personnel of equipment failure, fire and breach in building security.
This facility provides the opportunity to conduct research on invasive species to prevent or manage their introduction. The research of Forest Service scientists at the facility involves studies in life history, host specificity and range, dispersal and mating behaviors, pheromones, and insect specific microbials. The current insects under investigation are the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, the Asian strain of gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, the nun moth, Lymantria monacha, and several predators of the hemlock woolly adelgid that have been imported from Asia. Some of the research is done collaboratively with University professors and/or their graduate students. A current example is work on a potential parasite for control of the elongate hemlock scale (Fiorinia externa), another invasive species, being done in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts.
Last Modified: 01/19/2007