Trichogramma platneri - A native of western U.S. is recommended for western trees, avocados, ornamentals, orchards, and grapes. For western apple, pear, walnut growers as well as other Lepidoteran pests in the orchard.
Scientific Name: Order Hymenoptera, family Trichogrammatidae, Trichogramma spp.
Identification: Adult wasps are yellow or yellow and black with bright red eyes, short antennae, and compact bodies. They look like gnats. A small hole in the host egg is visible if the wasps have emerged.
Biology and life cycle: Females lay one or more eggs in the egg of a host insect. The larvae pupate inside the host egg, and adult wasps emerge seven to ten days after the egg is laid. Over fifty wasps can emerge from one egg. In warm weather many generations can be produced. Hosts include corn, cotton, cabbage, peas, tomatoes, soybeans, rice, citrus, ornamental plants, pecans, and forests.
Habitat: Moth eggs. Parasitized eggs turn black. European corn borer, corn earworm, imported cabbage worm, diamond back moth, cabbage looper, pecan nut case bearer, tomato hornworm, and tobacco hornworm.
Economic importance: Very effective control of many troublesome pests in the landscape and in agriculture.
Trichogramma platneri - For western trees, avocados, ornamentals, orchards, grapes. apple, pear, and walnut growers.
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.