Trichogramma minutum wasps
Minute Parasitic Wasp
Recommended for ornamentals, orchards, grapes and trees, where the protective zone is five feet or more above ground level. Also useful in greenhouses and interiorscapes.
Trichogramma are pale-yellow micro-wasps, 1/100 inch long, smaller than a pinhead. They drill through moth eggs to deposit 1 to 3 of their own eggs depending on moth egg size.
Over 200 pest moth species (armyworms, borers, cutworms, fruit worms, leaf worms, leaf worms, leaf rollers, loopers etc.) eggs can be destroyed by Trichogramma. Trichogramma prevents ravenous worms (caterpillars) from hatching out and devouring crops. Choose the species that suits your needs. See T. platneri, T. pretiosum, T. minutum and T. brassicae.
Trichogramma Cards (Each card is 30 Squares of Trichogramma)
There are approximately 100,000 Trichogramma per card. Each card can be broken into 30 squares with 3,334 parasites per square inch -- this permits even distribution in fields and orchards.
Trichogramma wasps emerge from cards in two to five days, depending on temperature, which should ideally be 80º to 90º F. Emergence can be delayed by holding parasitized moth eggs at cooler temperatures (not less than 40º F). Emerging wasps are usually seen in the morning. To maximize pest fighting time, don't delay release after adult wasps emerge. Keep Trichogramma cards in the shade, out of the hot sun.
Since Trichogramma prefer to attack freshly deposited moth eggs (up to 4 days old), the time to release Trichogramma is when moths are flying and laying eggs. Begin releases as early in the season as field and row crops provide shade for the parasites, e.g. when tomatoes are 12-28 inches high. It is better to start releases early, as Trichogramma populations have the potential to grow geometrically each 7-10 days, and a early start on pests is more likely to tip the ecological balance in favor of biological control. A few minor pest situations must be tolerated to obtain a natural enemy complex that controls major pest problems.
Release rates depend on the species and strain and other factors, but some examples are:
- Corn and field crops 1to10 cards/acre.
- Avocado, trees, grapes, ornamentals, apple, pear, walnut, and pecan growers 1 card per acre=30sq. per/acre.
- Orchard crops, vegetables, greenhouses and interiorscapes 1/2 to 1 card per acre=30sq. per/acre.