So... What's a Parasitic Wasp?
Parasitic wasps are tiny wasps that are very beneficial to gardeners and farmers. They attack, paralyze and kill many kinds of insect pests. Adults are varied in their coloring, but larvae are usually cream colored.
Parasitic wasps are very prolific and can reproduce quickly, allowing for large populations which are very helpful in controlling insect pest infestations.
These wasps do not sting like other wasps, and most are so tiny, they can go completely unnoticed in your garden!
Prey of the Parasitic Wasp
These tiny, delicate insects feast on aphids, caterpillars, beetles, scale, and flies.
Parasitic wasps deposit their eggs inside an adult or larval insect and when the eggs hatch, the offspring will feed on the paralyzed host insect resulting in the host's death (if it did not die when it was paralyzed by the wasp).
Parasitic Wasp's Habitat
Parasitic wasps can be found in fields and gardens, particularly those with nectar and pollen producing plants which attract the wasps.
Sometimes in the fall they may be found inside of homes, brought in inside of a parasitized insect when firewood is carried into the home.
Images courtesy of Oklahoma State University and Forestry Images.
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