2020 Samurai Wasp Project: We Need Your Brown Marmorated Stink Bug…..Alive

In 2020 we plan to continue our redistribution efforts of Samurai Wasp, Trissolcus japonicus in New York State, providing a sustainable long-term solution to controlling the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys (Stål) in agricultural systems while addressing the need in reducing urban, suburban and rural home invasions of the pest.

T.j.Release sites.NY.2019

Redistribution of Samurai Wasp in NYS: To date we have redistributed Samurai Wasp to 104 individual sites in 12 counties throughout NYS, employing our Citizen Science project participants and Cornell researchers. Concentration of redistribution sites have been in highest in Ulster, Dutchess and Columbia counties with fewer releases in Seneca, Wayne, Orleans, Chautauqua, Erie, Ontario, Suffolk, Tompkins, Westchester, Onondaga counties.

In 2020 we will be focusing on the souteastern and the western fruit growing counties of the NY orchards, with significant participation from citizen scientists in the cities of Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Ithaca, Geneva and the neighboring townships.

We to include forested regions harboring the vast majority of overwintering populations of BMSB as resources and development of our colonies allow.

Trissolcus-japonicus.Image: Elijah Talamas, USNM

For us to bring this to fruition we need a robust Brown Marmorated Stink Bug laboratory colony to grow our Samurai Wasp. We need roughly 1000 adults (approximately 500 of which would be female) to begin BMSB egg production this spring. With BMSB eggs we can support Samurai wasp reproduction and development to begin redistribution efforts in April-May and on through until mid-September.

Each female BMSB will lay roughly 400 eggs during her lifespan of about 1 year. Once collected we freeze them to -80C then provide them to our Samurai wasp colony. Roughly 75% of these will then be parasitized by female wasps. After 20 days, adult wasps will emerge from the eggs, then reared to build Samurai wasp colonies for field release to redistribution sites.

So…this is where we need your help.

Making a Soda Bottle BMSB Collector

Now that days are becoming longer and warmer, the voids in your home where the overwintering adult stink bug resides begin heat up. February is when they begin to stir. The make their way from attic and wall voids into your living space looking for a way out, entering bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen, crawling on walls and flying into lights and computer screens.

The BMSB are quite hardy, and the adult BMSB in your home can be easily captured, collected and transported.

Using a plastic bottle funnel, a collection container can be easily manufactured. Simply cut the upper 1/3 of the bottle neck from the cylinder, invert the funnel back into the bottle, secure the edge with any available tape handy, and there you have it, a BMSB collection device.

For BMSB on the ceiling, add a broom stick handle to give you additional reach. Before placing the funnel into the cylinder, use a 1/4″ screw and washer and drill screw driver to drill a pilot hole then screw to secure the bottle to the stick, providing enough length to capture the insect.

Soda Bottle BMSB Collector

Packaging the BMSB into a double ziplock bag with a puff of air and ‘baby carrot’ will keep them alive and insulated in an oversized envelope. If you include your email we’ll keep you updated on our progress of the project. Also…if you are interested in obtaining Samurai Wasp please RSVP to pjj5@cornell.edu.

Thanks for your support!

Please mail BMSB to:

Jentsch Lab
PO Box 727
3357 Route 9W
Highland, NY 12528

About Peter J Jentsch

Peter J. Jentsch serves the mid-Hudson Valley pome fruit, grape and vegetable growers as the Senior Extension Associate in the Department of Entomology for Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Laboratory located in Highland, NY. He provides regional farmers with information on insect related research conducted on the laboratory’s 20-acre research farm for use in commercial and organic fruit and vegetable production. Peter is a graduate of the University of Nebraska with a Masters degree in Entomology. He is presently focusing on invasive insect species, monitoring in the urban environment and commercial agricultural production systems throughout the state
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