Beneficial Insect: Parasitic Wasp (Hymenoptera)
Insect Type: Beneficial Insect
Major Identifying Features: Tiny, non-stinging wasps, generally up to 1/2″ long, slender and elongated antennae and are found throughout the U.S.
Life Cycle: Most female parasitic wasps lay eggs inside or on host insects, or inside prey eggs, wasp eggs hatch and consume the prey slowly from the inside until the host dies, some species pupate in external cocoons, which remain attached to the host’s body, other species pupate within the prey and emerge as adults, most species reproduce at a high rate
Pest Rating: Beneficial!
Management Rating: Beneficial!
Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Hosts include all of the listed insects below
Support Information/Common Prey: They prey on aphids, beetle larvae, bagworms, cabbage worms, Colorado potato beetle, corn ear worms, cucumber beetles, cutworms, gypsy moth caterpillars, Japanese beetles, leaf-miners, mealybugs, Mexican bean beetles, moth caterpillars, sawfly larvae, scale, squash vine borers, tent caterpillars, tobacco budworm, tomato hornworm, whiteflies
Management/Attraction Options: Provide a diversity of plants with single blossomed flowers and flowering herbs including allium, alyssum, cosmos, dill, fennel, lemon balm, thyme, statice, yarrow, zinnia, purchase parasitic wasps