Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

You are here: Northeast Area Home / Newark, Delaware / Beneficial Insects Introduction Research
Photo Carousel Links
Luster, Douglas G
Research Leader
(301) 619-7344
Newark DE 19711

Our mission is to import, quarantine, test, ship, release and establish exotic natural enemies (parasites and predators) of insect pests, using classical biological approaches, and to investigate, model, and predict the interactions of pest and beneficial species. The Laboratory's efforts havetraditionally been directed against insect pests of foreign origin. After receiving natural enemies from the native home of the invading species, thebeneficials are colonized in the United States to control the pest. Once established, these natural enemies are self-perpetuating and operate without further cost. The Laboratory also houses a quarantine facility where beneficial organisms from abroad are received and processed to detectand eliminate undesirable secondary parasites. Once cleared from quarantine, the beneficial species are either liberated locally or shipped.The Alfalfa Weevil, once the most severe pest of alfalfa in the U.S., is now controlled by several introduced parasites in the 20 NE States, for yearly savings of $88 million in control costs. The alfalfa blotch leafminer was controlled by parasites introduced from Europe soon after thepest spread outside its New England entry port preventing yield losses worth $15 million per year.

Research Areas & Locations Content | Click to go Back to Top