Samurai Wasp Hunts BMSB Pt 2

Samurai Wasp Hunts BMSB Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. A Goliath by comparison, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug has its own "David" to worry about called the Samurai Wasp. Researchers at Oregon State University have been studying the tiny predator's effectiveness for the past couple of years ...

LOWENSTEIN ... "From the work that we've done in the lab, Samurai Wasps parasitizes pretty close to 100% of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug eggs. We present it with stink bug eggs in a whole variety of experiments and it does a really good job of reproducing inside of them. In the field as well, those parasitism rates are about 60 to 80% in China. And we do find evidence of the Samurai Wasps parasitizing BMSB eggs, at least in metropolitan Portland."

OSU Entomologist David Lowenstein says the next step is field testing in orchards ...

LOWENSTEIN ... "So, it's a very tiny wasp. I mean, it's the size of period in a sentence. So, if we release this in orchards, we don't know if it's going to be effective throughout the entire orchard, will it disburse anywhere that there's BMSB, or will it be most effective near orchard edges or other annual crop edges? So, there's a lot of information that researchers, including myself, we're working on starting now to understand the Samurai Wasps biology in the field."

Lowenstein says the Samurai Wasp could become a key player in managing Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs. He encourages anyone who notices stink bug eggs with tiny little wasps hanging around to contact the OSU Extension office and let them know when and where you see them.


BL: Welcome back for another "Fruit Bites" brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us again is Valent's Allison Walston. And this week Allison, tell me what is mating disruption?

AW: Mating disruption is a term used for tricking insects into not being able to find each other, therefore disrupting their mating. For example, codling moth, the female moth gives off a pheromone to attract the male moths to her. If you put out mating disruption pheromone all over the orchard, the male moths get confused between the female moth and the fake pheromone source and can't locate her.

BL: Codling moth that's the "worm in the apple" and a serious pest, right?

AW: It is a serious pest. It chews its way inside the fruit. And without mating disruption, organic production would be nearly impossible.

BL: So do the males ever find the females?

AW: They might eventually. Delaying that hookup for just a few days is enough to reduce the likelihood of that codling moth egg from hatching.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I'm Bob Larson.

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