Scientists Plan to Kill Hudson Valley Stink Bugs by Releasing Wasps
Sick of stink bugs invading your home? Well, scientists think they can get rid of them by releasing wasps.
Peter Jentsch is the Senior Extension Associate in the Department of Entomology for Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Laboratory located in Highland, NY. In a recent blog posting on Cornell’s website, Jentsch talks about his plan to use the wasps as a way to control the stink bug population.
According to Jentsch, the “Samurai Wasps” lay their eggs inside the eggs of stink bugs. This kills the stink bug eggs, slowing the reproduction rate of those nasty pests. Of course this sounds all well and good, but does that mean we’re now going to get overrun with Samurai Wasps?
While Samurai Wasps sound pretty scary, it’s important to note that they are very small; just the size of a pencil tip. Jentsch believes the wasps will not only stop the stink bugs from invading our homes in the Fall, but also prevent the unchecked insects from ruining crops.
In order for the plan to work, Jentsch is asking residents to help locate where stink bugs are reproducing. A National Citizen Science Project has been developed where citizens can go to track the stink bugs’ locations. This Spring you can visit the website and let scientist know where you’ve seen stink bugs in the Hudson Valley.
After researchers establish stink bug “hot spots” they plan to release the wasps into those locations and hopefully knock out their numbers. Of course, this will take some funding and time. Researchers say they are planning on releasing the first of the wasps this Spring and Summer. You can learn more about the plan on Jentsch’s blog.