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Spalangia Wasps in General

A critical issue surrounding a wide range of fly pests has been solved through the production of Spalangia wasps. Wasps overall are known scientifically as Vespula vulgaris. The scientific name for this current wasp species although is Spalangia endius. They are typically found in regions including the United Kingdom, Germany, India, China, New Zealand, and Australia. Although there are current studies that indicate the Spalangia wasp is of a different species, they are closely related to the common wasp. There are multiple sister taxon’s of common wasps. The classifications associated with the Spalangia wasps are as follows.

Kingdom

● Animalia

Class

● Insecta

Order

● Hymenoptera

Family

● Vespidae

Genus

● Vespula

These wasps are not easily identified, but their marks are. Their coloring varies from a pale yellow to green. They are tiny in size, but the brown disc shaped gall produced on the underside of oak leaves, are not. Their habitats include grassland, farmland, woodland, and moorland areas — anywhere with oak. A single leaf can host up to 100 galls, which all contain a single larva. The larvae developes through the winter, then emerges in spring. The overall life history of the wasps is very interesting. As mentioned, the insects emerge in

April. After mating the fertilized eggs are laid by the sexual generations. This happens on the lower epidermis of Oak leaves. This process continues as the wasps develop over the winter, once again.

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Critical Issue

There is a critical issue surrounding a wide range of fly pests. The production of Spalangia wasps has effectively solved this problem. Spalangia wasps, scientifically known as Spalangia endius, are a common source of pest control. Specific flies, including the House and Stable fly, are a typical cause for concern within any feedlot. Which is true for any area where animal husbandry is practiced. Horse studs, piggeries, and poultry farms are areas where infestation only raises additional issues. Due to the chance of chemical residue ending up in the meat or milk products, these businesses require an alternative solution. As mentioned, the featured insect that has greatly influenced this issue is the Spalangia wasp.

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Chemical Control

Chemical control is a huge concern for these industries. “The three most commonly used pesticides are mancozeb, at 367,400 pounds; chlorothalonil, at 159,700 pounds; and thiophanate-methyl at 90,400 pounds. These three active ingredients accounted for 71 percent of the total pounds of fungicides applied to nursery and floriculture crops.” (USDA). Clearly, the majority of used products in these industries are chemical based. Typical pesticides are not only harmful by consumption, but from an environmental perspective too. Pesticide reside can cause severely toxicity to humans. The effects of these chemicals can be as extreme as cancer, effects on reproduction, immune or nervous systems. Clearly families, children, and individuals themselves should not be exposed to such harmful chemicals within products. These products are not just found within food too. Toxic exposure can cause following issues to air, water, and even furniture.

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Spalangia Process

Luckily, the technology surrounding Spalangia wasps is successful. Since the wasps are a parasite to common fly species it does not take much for them to kill. The female wasp lays her eggs into the fly pupae. Once hatched, the wasp larva feeds on the developing fly. This essentially kills it and halts the critical issue from continuation. From a reputation standpoint, these industries are taking an active role in helping the environment and its inhabitants. From a societal perspective the involved businesses, community members, and alternate industries are thankful for Spalangia wasps. The role of entomology and technology in shaping these diverse fields.

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Human Connection

Overall, a positive relationship is established between humans and the Spalangia wasp. These wasps are apart of a solution. Two-thirds of U.S. adults say “the federal government is doing too little to protect water (68%) and air quality (67%).” (Pew Research Center). Societal members strongly feel these areas in our climate, environment, and sustainability need to be changed. Industries within this case are in contribution to an even larger supply chain. The production of food follows the sale of it, to the consumption by consumers. With the assistance of Spalangia wasps this creates for a chemical-free process, when it comes to the pesticides. Individuals are beginning to realize and require this adaption.

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Wasps in Business

This critical issue is important to Marketing and Business overall. With Spalangia wasps being a more environmentally conscious approach, marketers can use this as a tactical measure, when selling Spalangia wasps in this industry. This industry is also massive. There is a great amount of huge companies and small businesses owners that could benefit from this method. Ultimately, it would be cheaper, less dangerous, and more sustainable in the long run. From both a business and marketing perspective there is a great deal of opportunity when it comes to the Spalangia wasps.

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Controversial Outlook

There is controversy surrounding this issue. Due to the industry and location where these wasps are released, chemical use is common. Even though Spalangia wasps are effective parasites, they are still fragile organisms. Just like other insects, chemicals and insecticides are harmful. Therefore, if chemical treatment is required, Spalangia wasps should not be introduced into those areas.