By LIAM TIERNAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — It’s no secret that sea lamprey are one of the most costly and destructive invaders in the Great Lakes region – vicious bloodsuckers that ruin lake trout and whitefish fisheries across every Great Lake, shutting down fisheries in the mid-20th century and continuing to demolish native species today. But better understanding of the functions and behaviors of these animals has given researchers a new way to try to combat this invasion, including the first vertebrate biopesticide ever discovered. The Environmental Protection Agency registered 3kPZs, a lamprey pheromone, as a biopesticide in December, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. This is a lamprey’s love call. “A pheromone is a chemical cue for communication,” said Michael Wagner, associate professor in the Michigan State University Fisheries and Wildlife Department.