Wasps may be used to deal with stink bugs

March 1, 2011 3:39:36 PM PST
Asians wasps that hijack stink bug eggs for their own young are being eyed as 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.

Stink bugs 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.