Nov 9, 2017
Samurai wasps seen as way to attack stink bugs

The samurai wasp could be the country’s best chance at beating back a stink bug that’s invading the Great Lakes region.

That’s what researchers concluded at the recent end of an entomology project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Brown marmorated stink bug.

“We’re finding when it has the opportunity to leave the test arena to look for its preferred host, it will do so,” Kim Hoelmer, an entomology professor from the University of Delaware, told Capital News Service (CNS), based at Michigan State University (MSU). “This increases the chances it will attack its main prey.”

According to the CNS story,

“It’s unclear what the wasp’s impact will have on the native stink bugs. What is growing clearer is the damage to American agriculture caused by brown marmorated stink bug in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states.

“It’s just a really difficult pest to control, because it eats almost everything,” said Tracy Leskey, USDA entomologist.

Leskey estimates the apple industry in the mid-Atlantic states suffered a $37 million loss because of the bug. Peach farmers lost more than half of their yield to the pest. With colder temperatures, the brown marmorated stink bug becomes a nuisance in the house as well, as it seeks shelter when the weather changes and filling in holes or spraying pesticides don’t work.

Physical means don’t work because the small bugs fit through tiny cracks, the stink bug’s syringe mouthpiece allows it to avoid poison on the plant’s surface, and its stilt-legs avoid contact poisons, said Matthew Grieshop, MSU entomology professor.”

For more on the story, visit here.

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