Location: European Biological Control Laboratory
Project Number: 0212-22000-027-03-S
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: May 13, 2013
End Date: Sep 30, 2016
To establish a population of a native European natural enemy of lygus bugs, Peristenus digoneutis, that is best-suited to the strawberry-growing regions of central California. Improved control of lygus bugs resulting from this additional source of parasitism will reduce pest populations in natural landscapes so that fewer lygus bugs enter strawberry fields and reduce lygus populations in strawberry fields.
During 2013, European lygus bugs will be collected in northern France and reared at the EBCL. Natural enemies (Peristenus spp.) will be isolated and shipped to the ARS Newark DE quarantine laboratory. A colony of P. digoneutis will be established at the NJDA New Jersey. Shipments will then be made to California, where these wasps will be released into alfalfa at commercial ranches in mid-summer. Collections will be made during the fall to identify the extent of parasitism. Collected lygus bug nymphs will be reared by cooperators at UC Santa Cruz. If continued funding is provided, additional releases will be made in 2014 at these strawberry ranches.