wasp problems

Anne Kilmer viceroy at gate.net
Mon Jul 6 04:29:45 EDT 1998

From: JTDS44 at aol.com
> To: mariposa at mcione.com
> Subject: Butterfly help requested
> Date: Thursday, June 11, 1998 8:25 AM
> Hi Lana & Alana  (hope I spelled your name right),
>     Thank you for letting us visit your home and for the much appreciated
> plants. I am writing because I have several (and periodically have)
> questions.  If you have the time  to entertain such  questions it would
> most helpful to me.  If you are unable, perhaps you could direct meelsewhere
> Thankyou.  There is a severe infestation of what I believe to beTrichograma
> wasps at the Miami Childrens' Hospital Dan Marino Center  (DMC for short
> hereafter).  I volunteer there at their BF garden.  I was certain theywere
> Trich Wasps until I called  Butterfly world and someone there disagreed
> withme.  So now I'm not so sure.   It's a Major  problem.
> I'm intending to recomend they spray the whole place twice withinsecticide.
> After I remove any larva  & pupas I can find.   Would this be inaccordance
> with  your recomendation?  When would it be safe to return the larva?After a
> heavy rain?
> Tracy Thomas
> JTDS44 at aol.com
> 954.384.4040  Phone

This was passed on to me and, aside from recommending that they allow 
nature to take its course, I have no useful guidance.
I think using insecticides in a butterfly garden is a really bad idea. 
The point of such a garden is to celebrate nature and enjoy its 
processes, and to restore health to the earth. 
The wasps may well be applied to farms in the area, and it might pay to 
ask around, and persuade the perpetrators to stop. Ron Boender (of 
Butterfly World) once complained to me that farms in his area used lots 
of wasps. he took it pretty personally, and I didn't blame him. 
	I can't imagine what insecticide might be effective in this 
situation. The wasp larvae are inside those larvae and pupae they plan 
to remove and replace. In addition to killing those wasps which happen 
to be on the wing, an insecticide would decimate non-target insects. 
	Might there be pheromone traps? Sticky traps? 
	In any case, when any area is oversupplied with one sort of 
organism, a predator comes along and gobbles it up. Or a disease or 
whatever. Given enough time, the Earth will come up with a cure for us 
... but that's another story. (We are a singularly resistant organism.)
My advice would be to wait, watch and enjoy the process. Anyone else got 
better ideas?
Anne Kilmer
South Florida

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