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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CLASSICAL BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF INSECT PESTS OF CROPS IN THE NORTHEASTERN U.S.

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research

Title: Status of parasitic wasps for biological control of Lygus and other mirid bugs in North America

Authors
item Fu, Xue-Jiao -
item Hoelmer, Kim
item Shi, Wang-Peng -

Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Knowledge
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: September 4, 2010
Publication Date: May 1, 2011
Citation: Fu, X., Hoelmer, K.A., Shi, W. 2011. Status of parasitic wasps for biological control of Lygus and other mirid bugs in North America. Journal of Entomological Knowledge. 48(1):178-182.

Interpretive Summary: Mirid plant bugs comprise a large group of insects that includes many significant worldwide pests with a wide range of host plants, including important crops such as cotton and alfalfa. Significant damage is caused by a group of mirids called tarnished plant bugs (TPB), and the costs of controlling these plant bugs and the value of crop losses caused by them amount to hundreds of millions dollars per year in the United States. In North America biological control is increasingly being applied for suppression of TPB instead of reliance on chemical pesticides. Parasitic wasps introduced from Europe have reduced populations of TPB in the northeastern USA. This experience has attracted the attention of scientists in China, where TPB are important pests of cotton. Chinese scientists hope to utilize the success of TPB biological control as experienced in the USA to improve the control of mirid bugs in China.

Technical Abstract: Mirid bugs are a group that includes worldwide pests with a wide range of host plants, including important crops such as cotton and alfalfa. Significant damage is caused by species of LYGUS Hahn, and the costs of controlling these plant bugs and the value of crop losses caused by them amount to hundreds of millions dollars per year in the United States. In North America biological control is increasingly being applied for suppression of LYGUS instead of chemical pesticides. For example, PERISTENUS spp. (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), introduced from Europe, were released in alfalfa fields and have reduced populations of LYGUS LINEOLARIS (Palisot de Beauvois) in the northeastern USA. Extensive research on the ecology and physiology of this genus of parasitoids and their application in biological control has also been conducted. This experience should be used in China in regard to improving the control of cotton mirid bug.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
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