Annual Report 2001 - Cornell University
003 Selected Faculty Research

08 Using Wasps to Control Pests

Michael P. Hoffmann, Entomology/Integrated Pest Management Program, and research colleagues discovered that wasps—small T. ostriniae— released early and only once during the sweet corn growing season would control the European corn borer. Field tests showed that using this method of biological control would reduce by half the damage to ears of corn. This new research revealed that it is not necessary to release the wasps throughout the summer growing season in large numbers. The wasps are egg parasitoids—the females insert their eggs into the corn borer eggs, killing the borer embryos. The European corn borer attacks fields of sweet corn, costing producers in New York and other Northeastern and Midwestern states about $1 billion a year. The cost of releasing wasps—about 30,000 per acre—is less than a single application of insecticide.

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© 2002 by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research [OVPR], Cornell University.

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