Scientists Use Insects to Control an Invasive Weed

tetramesa-romana

The release of tiny insects to combat an invasive weed is paying off, according to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Scientists from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service released arundo gall wasps (Tetramesa romana) and arundo scale insects (Rhizaspidiotus donacis) several years ago as part of a biocontrol program to kill a […]

Sulfoxaflor Found to Be Less Harmful to Beneficial Predators of Soybean Aphids

Orius-insidiosus

By Andrew Porterfield A new study from the University of Minnesota has found that the selective insecticide sulfoxaflor is just as effective at controlling soybean aphids (Aphis glycines) as broad-spectrum insecticides, without causing significant harm to some beneficial predators of the aphid. The new study by Anh Tran, Tavvs Alves, and Robert Koch, published in […]

USDA to Release Russian Wasps Against the Emerald Ash Borer

Spathius-galinae

With the emerald ash borer beetle devastating ash tree populations throughout the United States, solutions to help fight the insect are critical. Thanks in part to research from the University of Delaware and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, a host-specific parasitoid wasp from Russia — Spathius galinae — has been approved for release to help […]

Biological Control in Brazil is Used on an Area that is Larger than Belgium

Ageniaspis-citricola

By Alexandre Diniz, José Roberto Postali Parra, and Aloisio Coelho Jr. Some biological control programs involve large-scale rearing of millions insect predators that are released near agricultural crops. In Brazil, researchers have implemented of a number of successful biological control programs. Brazil is the world’s largest producer of sugarcane, which has one of the oldest […]

A New Parasitoid Wasp from Russia May Help the Fight Against Emerald Ash Borer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

By Ed Ricciuti Scientists working on environmentally friendly ways to combat insect pests continually quest for biological control’s version of a better mousetrap: natural enemies of a harmful species that outperform those already employed against it. In the case of invasive pests, the hunt may take scientists far afield, even to remote corners of the […]

Native Predators May Be Having a Larger Impact than Expected on Invasive Stink Bug

jumping-spider

By Dr. Rob Morrison Research recently appearing in the journal Biological Control may change how we view native predators of the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). BMSB is an invasive species that was accidentally introduced to the United States from Asia in Pennsylvania, and has since been detected in more than 40 U.S. states. It […]

Natural Born Stink Bug Killer Found in Washington State

Trissolcus-japonicus23

Since 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been directing studies of a tiny Asian wasp called Trissolcus japonicus. These wasps are parasitoids of the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), which has caused millions of dollars in damage to fruit orchards since it was discovered in the U.S. less than two decades ago. Researchers […]

Trichogramma Wasps Used as Biocontrol Agents in the Greater Mekong Region

Trichogramma-wasp

Wasps in the genus Trichogramma are tiny beneficial wasps that feed on the eggs of several insect pests. To help rice farmers in the Greater Mekong Region, a project was launched in 2011 to promote the establishment of Trichogramma mass-production facilities and affordable and practical pest control methods. Rice is culture and a way of […]

New Device Makes Lady Beetles Better, Easier Biocontrol Agents

Coleomegilla-maculata

The spotted lady beetle (Coleomegilla maculata) preys on aphids, spider mites, and other plant-damaging pests, making it a possible biocontrol agent — an organism that is used to control pest organisms. However, there has never been an easy way to raise these lady beetles, until now perhaps. The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service has developed new […]

West Coast Flies to the Rescue of East Coast Hemlock Forests

Adelges-tsugae

A tiny fly from the Pacific Northwest may provide new hope for towering hemlock forests dying along the East Coast. Deep-green hemlock forests stretch from Georgia to southern Canada — at least they used to. Over the last few decades, an invasive insect called the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) has killed millions of these […]