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Braconid wasps

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Braconid wasps

Post  trustingHim on 5/15/2010, 11:00 am

Yesterday, I went outside and found a shriveled up caterpillar with little white cocoons all over it. I freaked out and put it into a ziploc bag. (which I often do with bugs that I haven't seen before- then I google the description to find images to identify them) About an hour later, I returned to look at the bag and there were tiny little buggies flying around inside the bag. I didn't know what they were until I looked it up this morning. Apparently they are Braconid wasps- very beneficial. They attack hornworms by laying eggs inside the hornworm's body and then they eat their way out to form the tiny cocoons. They also prey on other caterpillars, grubs, and aphids, among others.

I only hope that I didn't do any harm to them in the time I had them contained in the ziploc bag. They can attack whatever pests they desire in my garden!
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Re: Braconid wasps

Post  sarah16 on 5/15/2010, 8:57 pm

Wow, that's gross and cool at the same time! That's a good tip about bagging unfamiliar insects; I'll have to remember to do that.
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Re: Braconid wasps

Post  trustingHim on 5/15/2010, 10:30 pm

I think they're all so cool. Well, not ALL. Cockroaches still give me the willies!
I forgot to mention that if you ever see the little white cocoons on a hornworm or caterpillar, you're supposed to let it go. The wasps will do their work. It would be far better to let the cocoons hatch and free the good buggies than to kill the leaf eating menace!
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Re: Braconid wasps

Post  Megan on 6/12/2010, 8:50 am

My garden has LOTS of tiny little wasps, about 1/4" long at most. Not sure what I did right to attract them, but yay! They are really pretty, too. They look gold from a distance but do seem to have the black stripes.
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