Michigan State Unleashes Samurai Wasps On Stink Bugs
Due to the weaponizing of bugs, this is already my favorite story of the week.
According to the City Pulse, Michigan State researchers are weaponizing a species of wasp to help rid Michigan of brown marmorated stink bugs. These are not our friendly native stink bugs (I can't tell the difference). Brown marmorated stink bugs are an invasive species that cause damage to crops (and if they're like native stink bugs, fly around your home, making your wife tell you to climb up on a chair and pick them off walls and throw them out on the porch). And to get rid of these pests, the MSU Entomology Department is experimenting with sicking samurai wasps on the stink bugs. The samurai wasps are a non-native species, but one that doesn't cause enough trouble to be classified as "invasive". These wasps, which are tiny to begin with, lay their eggs inside of stink bug eggs. The wasp embryos eat the stink bug embryos. And when the eggs hatch, it's not the stink bugs that emerge - it's samurai wasps.
Spooky, yet effective. And you don't need pesticides to get the job done. The MSU researchers released 4000 of these wasps this summer near Grand Rapids. And it looks like it worked. Their traps show the brown marmorated stink bug numbers are down.
But, because it was Grand Rapids, the remaining stink bugs had become very snooty when it came to craft beer.