Wasps used to fight soybean aphids

July 25, 2007

U.S. agricultural scientists are using Chinese wasps to battle infestations of Asian soybean aphids.

University of Minnesota researchers, in an effort to control the damaging crop pest, are field testing a sting-less wasp (Binodoxys communis) imported from China that kills soybean aphids.

The soybean aphid first appeared in Minnesota fields in 2000 and costs soybean growers an estimated $200 million annually in lost crop yields and spraying costs in Minnesota.

"The soybean aphid was imported without any of its natural enemies -- the organisms that keeps aphids in check in China," said University of Minnesota entomologist Dave Ragsdale. "Our researchers and Extension experts are working to provide that check and balance system."

Binodoxys communis was approved for release based upon four years of laboratory safety testing, Ragsdale said. However, researchers said 11 other species and strains of sting-less wasps are also being evaluated and some that have shown promise from both safety and efficacy standpoints might be field tested next year.

The origin of the Asian aphid's entry into the United States remains undetermined, but it's believed Chicago was at the epicenter of the initial distribution in the mid 1990s.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Female stink bugs 'select' the color of their eggs

Related Stories

Female stink bugs 'select' the color of their eggs

July 23, 2015

Stink bug mothers will lay darker or lighter eggs depending on how much light is reflecting off of a surface. The newly discovered adaptation is likely related to how some species of stink bugs are able to deposit their eggs ...

Researcherargeting voracious Kudzu bug

July 23, 2013

Alabama Extension specialist and Auburn University professor Xing Ping Hu is gaining insight into the virulent kudzu bug, including the discovery of a native predator that could go a long way toward reducing the pest's numbers.

Tiny wasp may hold key to controlling kudzu bug

April 30, 2012

University of Georgia researcher John Ruberson is looking for natural enemies of the kudzu bug in an effort to fight the pest's spread across the Southern states. A tiny Asian wasp may be the best option.

Recommended for you

Astronomers detect the farthest galaxy yet with Keck telescope

September 4, 2015

A team of Caltech researchers that has spent years searching for the earliest objects in the universe now reports the detection of what may be the most distant galaxy ever found. In an article published August 28, 2015 in Astrophysical ...

"Hedgehog" robots hop, tumble in microgravity

September 4, 2015

Hopping, tumbling and flipping over are not typical maneuvers you would expect from a spacecraft exploring other worlds. Traditional Mars rovers, for example, roll around on wheels, and they can't operate upside-down. But ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.