Anastatus is an egg parasitoid of spotting bugs and is now being massed reared in high enough quantities to begin field trials on a commercial scale. The testing of biocontrol agents for fruit spotting bugs is a challenging task. Bugs breed outside crops and bug eggs are hard to find. We therefore need to run a series of case studies and monitor any changes in bug activity, damage and yield to the crop over a number of years. We also want to observe any changes in management practices. See "Background" for more details.
The aims of this biological control work are:
• To increase the amount of natural enemy activity against spotting bugs (good biocontrol activity creates a buffer in the system giving morte time to make spray decisions)
• To reduce dependancy on chemical controls (options are very limited and any new products are likely to be expensive).
• To reduce the frequency of spraying while maintaining yield and quality.
• To move from whole block spraying to spot spraying where practical.
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FSB nymph - about 3 weeks old
Anastatus egg parasitoid laying its egg into a FSB egg.
Parasitised FSB eggs with Anastatus wasps about to emerge.