Green Worm Control
By Paulette Mouchet
Originally published in "The Rose Garden" newsletter, March 2004.
According to the folks at Rincon-Vitova Insectaries Inc. trichogramma wasps destroy the eggs of more than 200 pest moth species (cutworms, fruitworms, leaf worms, leafrollers, loopers, armyworms, borers etc.), preventing ravenous worms (caterpillars) from hatching out and devouring your plants. These pale yellow micro-wasps, which are smaller than a pinhead, drill through moth eggs to deposit one to three of their own eggs.
Trichogramma larvae eat out the innards of their pest egg home, pupate, then cut exit holes for winged adults to squeeze through. Males emerge first, wait for females, and immediately mate. The life cycle from egg to adult is completed in 7 to 10 days (longer in cool weather). This short life cycle allows as many as 30 generations per season and a rapid population increase. Early season releases of trichogramma wasps produce large populations positioned to fight pest invasions.