Bug Blog

Breeding Beneficial Bugs

There is a war being waged in this country; one that is happening right under your nose. Beneficial insects face off against the evil insect pests trying to take over the world; trying to fight off these destructive forces that are destroying our plants and wildlife and sucking the life out of our trees. But the beneficial insect warriors are not alone in this fight. In select labs around the country scientists are working night and day to breed more beneficial insects designed to battle specific pests and restore balance to the world.

The Phillip Alampi Beneficial Insect Lab in New Jersey is one such place where scientists are raising beneficial insects to combat insect pests throughout the country. One insect they raise in the lab is a small, sting-less wasp, which they are raising to stand up against the Mexican bean beetle. The Mexican bean beetle is a voracious little pest that causes massive destruction to many plants throughout the U.S. They don’t just chew a few holes in a plant’s leaves; they skeletonize the leaves. By the time the Mexican bean beetle is done munching on the plant the leaves are almost completely decimated, creating a lattice effect on the leaves. The sting-less wasp survives solely on the Mexican bean beetle, and will be released into the wild to help control the beetle’s population and prevent or combat major infestations.

What other kinds of insects do you think would be bred at a beneficial insect laboratory?