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When insects take care of the pest control for us

Welcome to the 6th IPM Podcast for Field Crops
This Podcast is sponsored by the UMN Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program.

In this week’s podcast, we feature Dr. George Heimpel, University of Minnesota Professor of Entomology, and members from his lab, Dr. Carl Stenoien and Jonathan Dregni.

A parasitoid wasp (Aphelinus glycinis) laying an
egg in a soybean aphid. Photo: Matthew Kaiser
Heimpel discussed how biological control, or beneficial species suppressing other pests, fits within IPM through reducing the likelihood of pest populations reaching damaging levels. In cases of invasive species, insects that feed on the invasive pest in their native range may be imported in after heavy regulatory scrutiny and can turn a common invasive pest into only a sporadic pest.

Aphid “mummies” are the husk leftover as an aphid has been
consumed by a parasitoid larva. Different parasitoid species
can leave behind different colored mummies (e.g., left brown
mummy: Lysiphlebus testaceipes, right black mummy:
Aphelinus certus)
Multiple species of parasitic wasps that have been considered for import against soybean aphid were discussed. These are small wasps that cannot sting people, but instead lay eggs inside the host insect. When the eggs hatch, the larvae consume the aphids. One species, Aphelinus certus, has been found parasitizing soybean aphid across the state in recent years, and may be significantly suppressing soybean aphid populations in some areas.

This podcast was hosted by Dr. Anthony Hanson, Extension Post-Doctoral Associate. The purpose of the IPM podcasts is to alert Growers, Ag Professionals and Educators about emerging pest concerns on Minnesota field crops. We also review recent pest trends and research updates.

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For recent corn and soybean IPM updates, see MN Crop News for Corn & Soybeans and for IPM Program updates, visit the UMN Extension IPM website.
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