Wasps used to fight soybean aphids

Jul 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: Warning coloration paved the way for louder, more complex calls in certain species of poisonous frogs

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researcherargeting voracious Kudzu bug

Jul 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 ...

Tiny wasp may hold key to controlling kudzu bug

Apr 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.

Stink bug spread worries growers across nation

May 20, 2011

(AP) -- An insect with a voracious appetite, no domestic natural predators and a taste for everything from apples to lima beans has caused millions of dollars in crop damage and may just be getting started.

Recommended for you

Cat dentals fill you with dread?

15 hours ago

A survey published this year found that over 50% of final year veterinary students in the UK do not feel confident either in discussing orodental problems with clients or in performing a detailed examination of the oral cavity ...

User comments : 0