The Lazio Region enlists the 'samurai wasps' to defeat the invasion of bedbugs in houses and fields

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The Lazio Region enlists the 'samurai wasps' to defeat the invasion of bedbugs in houses and fields

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The Lazio Region has allocated 150 thousand euros to fight the Asian bug (Halyomorpha halys) and the small fruit fly (Drosophila suzukii). The first species, in particular, is literally destroying Tuscia hazelnuts.

The Councilor for Agriculture, Giancarlo Righini , recalls that the Asian bug and the small fruit fly are harmful to numerous plant species and have caused extensive damage to agricultural production. “It is our duty, therefore, to intervene, as we have already done with the chestnut wasp wasp, to combat this phenomenon which risks bringing entire sectors of our agri-food system definitively to its knees. We are convinced that through the Arsial agency, in agreement with the management, all the best defense strategies will be introduced to re-establish an environmental balance essential for the survival of our plants”, explained the councilor.

The resolution, explained the regional councilor Valentina Paterna, president of the Agriculture and Environment commission, practically gives the green light to the use of the so-called 'samurai wasps' to fight the Asian bug. Bedbugs caused damage to 19/30 percent of crops for a total of approximately 60 million euros lost.

To solve the problem, the most effective way that has been found by experts is precisely the use of the 'samurai wasp'.

The use of this insect to defeat the Asian bug, explained Paterna, “was approved after a series of analyzes conducted by the phytosanitary service area, led by Dr. Alessandra Bianchi, coordinated by the table established by the relevant offices and by Arsial. In particular, it emerged that the conventional, integrated and biological defense strategies of production, although promptly adopted by Lazio producers, have not managed to control the enormous biotic potential of phytophages also because there are no agents capable of determine a natural rebalancing of the populations. Therefore, as happened in other regions, it was decided to introduce effective alien biological controllers such as the samurai wasp and the Ganaspis vespina in order to keep the Asian bug and the small fruit fly under control “.

During a recent meeting of the Regional Agriculture Commission, Confagricoltura made it known that the so-called samurai wasp is the only possible remedy to combat bedbugs. But for northern Cia Lazio, the use of wasps has only slowed down the spread of the insects. Among other things, the use of 'samurai' must be authorized by the Ministry of the Interior, because it is a non-native species and experts make it known that this solution has not exactly short timescales, in the order of five or six years to have noteworthy results. The release areas, the researchers finally explain, must also be free from insecticide treatments which would first damage the antagonistic insect.

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