New Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Enemy Found in PNW Garden

 

New Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Enemy Found in PNW Garden

The wasp Astata unicolor has a preferred prey — the brown marmorated stink bug. A new study from Oregon State University notes its potential as a native natural enemy of the invasive pest. (Photo: David Lowenstein for Entomology Today)

Entomology Today reports a backyard gardener in Oregon has discovered an impressive find: a wasp feeding on brown marmorated stink bug.

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David Lowenstein, an entomologist with Oregon State University, published a study on how the soil-nesting wasp, Astata unicolor,  particularly delights in dining on Halyomorpha halys, brown marmorated stink bug and how this wasp could be a potential biological control for BMSB.

Female wasps paralyze the stink bug with a sting and then drag the bug off to the nest, which will serve as fresh food for wasp larva.

While this information is promising, Lowenstein does warn that “it remains too soon to tell how well Astata manage BMSB,” Lowenstein said to Entomology Today. “Astata have specialized nesting requirements, which limit the types of places they are found. There are still gaps about the ideal habitat for Astata, and we can’t make recommendations about how to attract the wasp. It is possible that the wasp could nest in habitat adjacent to crops.”