Wasp Kind of Solution Is This?

Delaware scientists want to release wasps to get rid of crop-eating stink bugs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Scientists in Delaware are developing a fix for the destructive East Coast stink bug population that sounds comparable to the tactics of the “old woman who swallowed a fly.”

    She swallowed a spider to catch the fly. U.S. scientists are raising wasps to swallow the stink bugs.

    Parasitic Asians wasps are being raised in a Newark, Del. laboratory to possibly rid the area of the stinky pests.

    The wasps hijack stink bug eggs for their own young and scientists believe these larcenous wasps may be the answer to the destructive pest that is threatening mid-Atlantic crops.

    Kim Hoelmer, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture scientist in charge of the project, says testing has shown the tiny parasitic wasps being raised in quarantine in a Delaware laboratory destroy up to 80 percent of the stink bug population.

    Hoelmer says preliminary indications show the wasps don't attack beneficial insects, and researchers hope to have approval to release the wasps sometime in 2013.

    Though stink bugs are no threat to human health, they are a farm threat because they attack a number of crops. University of Maryland insect researcher Michael Raupp says they are expected in record numbers this year in Maryland.

    Though the Asian wasps are not allowed in the United States except for research, scientists are hoping to release the wasps in the next two years, according to the Baltimore Sun.

    We suppose the next question is: What will they find to swallow the wasp?