Parasitic wasps are part of the group we call beneficial insects. They lay their eggs in or on other living insects. When the eggs hatch, they burrow into the host and begin to feed. Eventually, they kill the host and, if it is an insect we consider a pest such as a tomato horn worm, that is beneficial.

Most people look to ladybug beetles, praying mantids and lacebugs as prime examples of beneficial insects, parasitic wasps are much more efficient at the job.

Parasitic wasp species exist that feed on aphids, whiteflies, certain caterpillars and many other insect species. You can purchase eggs of certain parasitic wasps commercially to spread around your garden. However, remember that, if you choose to go this route, you need to stop using regular insecticides that will kill the beneficial insects before they get a chance to do their thing.

These are good guys...no control is needed. Encouragement is what they need.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

Types of Insects

"Name That Bug Page"

 

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