Soldier Bugs Are Being Dispatched To Kill Harmful Stink Bugs
If you have ever stepped on a stink bug, or have vacuumed one up from your carpet, then you likely know that these bugs are aptly named. The smell these bugs emit is foul, but the smell is not the worst aspect of the invasive stink bug. Stink bugs are major crop pests within the United States. They were first discovered in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and they have since moved into nearby states where they get right to work destroying sizeable portions of commercial crops. Luckily, researchers at West Virginia University’s Davis College of Agriculture believe that they have found a novel method of effective stink bug eradication. Researchers have raised spiny soldier bugs within laboratory conditions. The researchers are planning on releasing these soldier bugs into stink bug populated environments. The soldier bugs are native to the United States and they are predatory in nature. Most important of all, soldier bugs love to kill and feed on stink bugs.
Raising insects in order to have them eradicate other insects is a type of biological pest control that researchers are hoping will work, but there is one problem. Fully grown stink bugs are too large for soldier bugs to kill. This means that soldier bugs are only useful for pest control as long as the stink bugs have not reached full maturity. However, the soldier bug’s talent for killing and consuming young stink bugs and their egg is undeniable.
Unfortunately, during this time of year stink bugs are commonly found within people’s homes. Stink bugs waste no time invading homes when the temperatures drop during the fall season. The researchers have also worked with the United States Department of Agriculture in order to mass produce a parasitic wasps that has a particular taste for stink bugs. However, this plan was scrapped as using the parasitic wasps as a form of biological pest control was too risky. This is because the parasitic wasps that hunt for stink bugs are actually native to Asia, making them an invasive species within North America. The researchers were not sure if the Asian wasps would cause damage to native insect or plant species within America.
Do you think that using soldier bugs as a form of biological pest control is risk free?